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'Unruly' MPs: NDA goes silent in Parliament

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
Last updated on: May 05, 2008 12:40 IST
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The Opposition National Democratic Alliance on Monday decided to "remain silent" in the Lok Sabha in protest against Speaker Somnath Chatterjee referring 32 members of Parliament, mostly from the Bharatiya Janata Party, to the Privileges Committee for "unruly behaviour".

The decision to adopt a "soft" protest mode was taken at a meeting of National Democratic Alliance leaders chaired by Leader of Opposition L KAdvani in New Delhi on Monday morning.

The 32 MPs who disrupted Parliament

In a bid to resolve the impasse, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee has called for an all-party meeting, after the 'erring' members decided not to speak in the Lok Sabha.

"The Opposition members shall not speak so long as the speaker is in the chair," Shahnawaz Hussain, former minister who was placed on top of  the list, said.

What softened the Speaker's stance was a comment from the Opposition referring to his own removal from the House for disorderly conduct in 1989 while debating the Bofors case. 

The Congress felt the issue should be sorted out by giving the Opposition members an opportunity to tender an apology to the chair and the speaker recalling his orders.

Additional Reportage: PTI

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi