New Delhi: Parliament remained paralysed for the third consecutive day on Thursday over the CAG report on coal blocks allocation with neither the UPA Government not the Opposition, particularly the BJP, showing any signs of backtracking from their stand.
The BJP has been unrelenting on its demand that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should resign over the CAG report while the government alleges that the principal opposition party is only interested in disrupting the House, and is shying away from a meaningful debate on the entire issue.
Repeating the scenes of the last two days in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, the BJP MPs shouted slogans against the government, demanded the Prime Minister's resignation forcing the adjournment of both the Houses till Friday.
Arun Jaitley, BJP MP and Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, blamed the government for the deadlock, saying that his party would continue to put pressure on the government.
"This is not a small issue. It is a monumental loss to the Government of India and loss of taxpayers money while it gives huge profits to the private parties, and this happened under the Prime Minister. This is a way to build pressure on the government on an issue, this is very crucial and we do not want a mere half day discussion on this. In democracy at times this way of protest is legitimate to build pressure on the government," said Jaitley.
The government said it did not visualise the deadlock ending before next week. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said talks to end the stalemate were not possible before Monday. He said the week is likely to be lost due to disruption. "I am told that tomorrow also the Houses will not function," he said.
Meanwhile, Congress President Sonia Gandhi decided to take charge of the Congress's response, asking her MPs to go on the offensive on the issue. "We don't need to be defensive. It is wrong. We must attack. They cannot take people for granted," she told her MPs.
In another development, Vice-President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari's meeting with floor leaders to end the deadlock in Parliament was inconclusive.
The government said it was prepared to discuss the CAG report on coal block allocation in Parliament and reply to the issues raised by the opposition. "The government is already prepared to discuss anything they want. The Prime Minister has already said that. We are prepared to discuss the issues threadbare," Home Minister Shushil Kumar Shinde said.
Law Minister Salman Khurshid expressed the hope that the opposition would join in ensuring proper functioning of Parliament. "We want to give a reply to both the opposition and the country. We have nothing to hide," Khurshid said.
Members from the treasury benches sought to counter the Opposition's slogan of 'Pradhan Mantri Istifa Do (Prime Minister Resign)' by shouting Pradhan Mantri Zindabad (Hail the Prime Minister).
The Rajya Sabha witnessed three adjournments till 2 pm, while there were two adjournments in the Lok Sabha.
What happened in Parliament today:
It was trouble as soon as the two Houses met for the day.
In the Lok Sabha, BJP members rushed to the Well to demand the Prime Minister's resignation.
Countering the opposition offensive, Congress members were seen in the aisles waving copies of newspapers and raising slogans against the BJP. They displayed newspaper reports which said some state governments headed by BJP in 2005 had opposed auction of coal blocks, saying it would hit the industry.
The House plunged into turmoil as members of Opposition and Treasury benches clashed, with Congress members insisting that it was the BJP which had opposed auction of coal blocks and was now blaming the Centre for it.
Interestingly, members of JD(U), a key constituent of the BJP-led NDA, did not join the BJP members in the Well. The BJP has been on the offensive in demanding Singh's resignation, while the JD(U) has been pressing for a debate.
Amidst the din, Speaker Meira Kumar called for the Question Hour, but adjourned the House till noon.
When the House re-assembled at noon, members from BJP and AIADMK trooped into the Well raising slogans.
SK Bwiswmuthiary (Independent MP from Kokrajhar) was also in the Well raising the problems of Bodo refugees living in transit camps of Assam.
Francisco Sardinha, who was in the Chair, adjourned the House till 2 pm after ordering laying of papers.
The Rajya Sabha also witnessed ruckus the moment Chairman Hamid Ansari took up the first listed business.
When the House assembled for the day, BJP-led NDA members shouted slogans demanding resignation of the Prime Minister.
The treasury benches countered them by shouting slogans hailing the Prime Minister.
Amidst the slanging match, Chairman Hamid Ansari called the first listed question and asked members to resume their places.
"No slogan shouting please," he said. "Please sit down".
Congress members briefly heeded to his pleas but were up on their feet again as Opposition was unrelenting in its slogan shouting.
Ansari then adjourned the House till noon and called leaders of various political parties to his chamber for discussion.
"I would request leaders of all political parties and groups to come to my chamber," he said.
When the House met again at noon, similar scenes were witnessed and it was adjourned till 12.30 PM after laying of papers.
Uproarious scenes were witnessed again when the House re-assembled.
Interestingly, no minister was present in the House at that time and only a handful of Congress members were seen in the Treasury benches.
Amidst din, PJ Kurien, who was in the Chair, adjourned the House till 2 pm.
And again at 2 pm, Parliament was adjourned for the day.
(With additional inputs from PTI)