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Congress, DMK, other Oppn members stage walkout over Karnataka crisis


Agencies, New Delhi The principal opposition Congress and other opposition parties including from DMK and National Conference on Tuesday stated walkout in the Lok Sabha registering their protest over political developments in Karnataka. Congress floor leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said during Zero Hour that the politics of "poaching" as pursued by the BJP should come to an end forthwith - a charge denied by the ruling side. For the second consecutive day, the issue was raised by Congress leader Mr Chowdhury and others wherein Defence Minister Rajnath Singh asserted that his party and the government had nothing to do with the "internal matters" in the Congress party. "It is unfortunate that they (Congress) are unable to control their own house and dragging the matter into the Lower House of Parliament and disturbing its functioning," Mr Singh said. As members from Congress and other parties staged walkout, Trinamool Congress lawmakers remained seated in the House. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said that under the rule, an issue which has been debated and raised in the House during an ongoing session could not be raised again. Earlier at the start of the Zero Hour, pandemonium scenes prevailed in the House after Speaker Om Birla disallowed Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury to raise the same issue. Several opposition members trooped into the well of the House raising anti-government slogans. Some of them were heard saying - "We want justice" and "Vibhajit ka Rajniti Bandh karo (Stop the politics of poaching and division)". The Speaker even told the Congress floor leader Chowdhury that as the adjournment motion was rejected, he should give a separate notice to raise matter pertaining to Karnataka politics. Opposition members from other parties Indian Union of Muslim League, NCP and RSP also stood up supporting the Congress leader's contention that he has right to raise the issue affecting Karnataka politics. DMK members led by T R Baalu and A Raja also joined the Congress members in raising anti-government slogans. At one point, Parliamentary Affairs Minister said the developments in Karnataka has been essentially sparked off by Congress president Rahul Gandhi himself. Both Mr Gandhi and his lawmaker mother Sonia Gandhi were present in the House. When allowed to make his point, Mr Chowdhury said the politics of poaching should come to an end. "We want to cooperate with the chair in running the House....but the politics of poaching cannot go on. Today Karnataka and tomorrow Madhya Pradesh ...these cannot go on," Mr Chowdhury said in reference to alleged efforts being made by the BJP to topple the JD(S)-Congress coalition ministry in Karnataka. There have been reports earlier about similar 'efforts' being made in another Congress-ruled Madhya Pradesh. Amid the din as some Congress members tried to display some papers with slogans written on it, Speaker Mr Birla cautioned that such gestures are not allowed in the House. 'It is my last warning,' he said. While one Congress member was heard saying - "this is our right" -- the Speaker quickly said "no" and maintained "I can take action". The Speaker made fervent appeal to the members to allow run the House smoothly and said entire world keeps its eyes on how members conduct in Indian Parliament. "This is your House....all of us should take the prestige of the House high," he remarked. Mr Chowdhury said the opposition parties have been cooperating and therefore the productivity of the House has also improved. After the Congress floor leader made his point, Defence Minister Rajnath said the Congress member has 'misused' the opportunity given to him and repeated his issue. The Congress members led by Rahul Gandhi and also MPs from DMK and Fraooq Abdullah of National Conference staged walkout.

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