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No Fear No Favour

Sachin Tendulkar’s first speech in Rajya Sabha delayed amid Congress slogans, House adjourned

The Parliament is likely to be stormy on Thursday too as the Congress says it will continue to raise the issue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark against his predecessor Manmohan Singh in both the houses.

The confrontation between the Congress and the BJP over PM Modi’s remarks had continued on Wednesday. As the BJP has ruled out PM’s apology, as demanded earlier by the Congress, chances of any peace in both houses looks dim.

The Narendra Modi government has lined up two key bills for introduction in Lok Sabha on Thursday while Sachin Tendulkar has given notice in Rajya Sabha to discuss the right to play and the future of sports in India.

The virtual stalling of the Rajya Sabha proceedings due to Congress protests over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks against his predecessor Manmohan Singh today denied cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar his maiden attempt to speak in the House.

Tendulkar was slated to initiate a short duration discussion on the right to play and the future of sports in India, which was disrupted by the protests that led Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to adjourn the House for the day.

When the House met at 2 pm after an earlier adjournment, Naidu wanted to take up the short duration discussion to be initiated by Tendulkar.

Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Naresh Agarwal, however, said he had a point of order and asked whether CAG reports can be leaked to newspapers before they are tabled. “Can we summon people responsible for tarnishing those in constitutional offices on the basis of CAG reports,” he asked.

His questions were in the context of the acquittal of all 2G case accused.

He also asked whether the image of those in constitutional offices can be tarnished on the basis of CAG reports when “99 percent of the points” raised in them get settled after they reach the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) for scrutiny.

After the point of order, Naidu sought to initiate the discussion on sports saying this was Tendulkar’s maiden speech and he should be heard.

Promptly, several Congress members got up and raised the issue of the Prime Minister’s remarks and started raising slogans such as “Desh ko gumrah karna band karo’ (stop misleading the nation) and seeking an apology from Modi.

Naidu admonished the members, saying Tendulkar had done a lot for the country and was a ‘Bharat Ratna’ awardee.

As the opposition members continued with their noisy protests, Naidu again chided them in his characteristic style, asking them to not shout as “all they would achieve was a hoarse throat and bad name.”

He said Tendulkar was a legendary persona and an inspiration for the youth while urging the Congress members to allow the discussion.

But as the protests continued, a livid Naidu asked Tendulkar to proceed.

However, the cricketer could only stand and watch as the determined opposition members continue raising slogans.

Naidu said he did not want such scenes to be seen by the people on their TVs and adjourned the proceedings for the day.

Earlier when the House met for the day, Congress members shouted slogans, drowning the voices of other members and forcing Naidu to adjourn the proceedings till 2 PM, but not before he threatened to invoke rules against them and rapped them for unruly behaviour.

Leader of the Opposition and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad sought an explanation from Modi for the “false propaganda” on the 2G scam to come to power in 2014.

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