India's Parliament forced to adjourn by protests

AP News
Posted: Nov 22, 2011 4:14 AM
India's Parliament forced to adjourn by protests

India's Parliament opened its winter session on Tuesday and then quickly adjourned itself amid renewed protests by lawmakers angry about everything from corruption to soaring inflation.

The 21-day session was scheduled to debate a bill creating a government ombudsman that was a key demand of anti-corruption protests over the summer. It was also expected to deal with bills on education, pensions and judicial standards.

However, soon after the session was convened, lawmakers jumped to their feet and began shouting protests. Some ruling party lawmakers from the south called for the split of the current state of Andhra Pradesh. Opposition lawmakers railed against rising prices.

When Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram rose to address the lower chamber, the opposition exploded in protests and refused to listen to him because of his alleged role in the shady sale of cellphone spectrum when he was finance minister.

Both chambers of the house were quickly adjourned for the day.

"This is a form of legitimate parliamentary tactics that we are going to resort to," said Arun Jaitley, a leader of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party.

Parliament lost almost all of last year's winter session to opposition protests against corruption, and government officials appealed to their colleagues to stop obstructing the legislature and allow important bills to be debated and passed.

"There is work to do and we must proceed with the work," Law Minister Salman Kurshid told Times Now news channel.