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CAG report on coal block allocations rock Parliament

The Lok Sabha could not transact any business because of the unruly scenes, which first resulted in adjournment till noon and then for the day while the Rajya Sabha could function only to allow the unanimous election of Congress leader PJ Kurien as Deputy Chairman of the House

New Delhi: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on coal block allocations rocked Parliament on Tuesday with a determined Opposition disrupting proceedings by demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who held the Coal portfolio when the alleged irregularities took place, reports PTI.

 

The Lok Sabha could not transact any business because of the unruly scenes, which first resulted in adjournment till noon and then for the day.

 

The Rajya Sabha could function only to allow the unanimous election of Congress leader PJ Kurien as Deputy Chairman of the House before it was adjourned for the day amid uproar.

 

As soon as Lok Sabha met for the day, Opposition members, including those from BJP, JD-U, SAD, Shiv Sena and BJD, among others, trooped into the Well, demanding the Prime Minister's resignation.

 

Left, AIADMK and TDP members also supported the demand.

 

The CAG report tabled in Parliament last Friday stated that there has been an estimated loss of Rs1.86 lakh crore due to coal block allocation without auction from 2005 to 2009.

 

In the wake of uproar, Speaker Meira Kumar adjourned the House till noon.

 

Similar scenes were witnessed when the House met again, with Opposition members trooping into the Well again.

 

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde tried to placate the members, saying, "We have no objection to a discussion."

 

Kumar asked the members to calm down. "If the sense of the House is that there should be a discussion we can discuss this issue," she said, amid the din.

 

With members continuing to raise slogans in the Well, Kumar adjourned the House for the day. .

 

In the Rajya Sabha, almost the entire Opposition led by BJP Deputy Leader Ravi Shankar Prasad, M Venkaiah Naidu and Shivanand Tiwari (JD-U) were on their feet and raised slogans as soon as the House assembled.

 

While BJP-led NDA demanded the Prime Minister's resignation, Left parties wanted the government to spell out its stand on the three CAG reports.

 

Amid the din, Samajwadi Party, which supports the UPA government from outside, protested Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma's comments on inflation.

 

Verma, who deserted SP to join Congress, had stated that high food inflation was good as it benefited farmers.

 

Chairman Hamid Ansari repeatedly appealed for calm but as his plea went unheeded, he adjourned the House till noon.

 

When the House met again, there was calm and the election of Kurien as Deputy Chairman was taken up in a rare show of bonhomie.

 

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh proposed Kurien's name for the post, which was seconded by Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley.

 

After Ansari announced Kurien's election and members felicitated him, the Prime Minister and Jaitley escorted him to the Chair's seat.

 

However, as soon as the Kurien called for legislative business of resuming discussion on the Whistle Blowers Protection Bill, the opposition members were on their feet.

 

They raised slogans like "Pradhanmantri jawab do" (Prime Minister should reply) and "Ghotalon ki ye sarkar nahi chalegi" (This scam-tainted government should go).

 

The government countered the attack with Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal and Ministers of State Rajeev Shukla and V Narayanasamy saying the government was ready for discussion but the opposition was running away.

 

"We are ready for a discussion. They are running away from it as their CM is involved," Shukla was heard as saying. He, however, did not name anyone.

 

As the uproar continued, Kurien adjourned the House for the day.

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Over 2,000 visiting Pakistani nationals overstaying in Nagpur

As many as 9,705 Pakistani nationals had obtained visa for visiting Nagpur from the authorities, but bout 2,013 of them did not return to their country and are overstaying in the city

Nagpur: Over 2,000 Pakistani nationals are overstaying since 1995 in Nagpur in western Indian state of Maharashtra despite the expiry of their visitor’s visa, a Right to Information (RTI) query has found, reports PTI.

 

As many as 9,705 Pakistani nationals had obtained visa for visiting Nagpur from the authorities for 30, 45, 60 and 90 days. "About 2,546 Pakistan citizens came on visa for longer duration and 533 of them were provided with Indian citizenship," it said.

 

But about 2013 Pakistani nationals did not return to their country and were overstaying here, according to Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Branch), which deals with such cases.

 

National Right 2 Information Committee, a local NGO, had sought information under RTI on number of Pakistani nationals visiting Nagpur between 1980-1994 and 1995 onwards.

 

Police admitted they have no information on names and contact addresses of Pakistanis staying here till 1994. Also, police have informed this to Committee President Ejaz Khan and General Secretary Uteresh Wasnik. However, details from 1995 onwards were available.

 

The NGO has also sought information under RTI from Ministry of External Affairs and Home Ministry on number of Pakistanis visiting India since 1960.

 

The Ministry of External Affairs in a communication to Janardan Singh, First Secretary (Press and Information) High Commission of India, Islamabad (Pakistan) and Vumlunmang, Joint Secretary and Nodal Officer (RTI) in Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi has sought necessary information on Pakistanis visiting India since 1960.

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