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Houses adjourned, Sushma corners govt

IANS
Aug 03, 2010 at 03:02pm IST

New Delhi: Both houses of parliament were adjourned on Tuesday as opposition MPs disrupted proceedings over the Belgaum district dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka, alleged diversion in Commonwealth Games funds and price rise issues.

The Lok Sabha was adjourned for half an hour after leaders from Maharashtra and Karnataka gathered near Speaker Meira Kumar's podium over the disputed district of Belgaum.

The boundary row suddenly came to the limelight last month following the central government’s affidavit in the Supreme Court that the disputed areas could not be made a part of Maharashtra merely because a majority of the population there speaks Marathi.

Sushma Swaraj started her scathing attack on the government over the price rise issue, accusing it of having "betrayed the common man".

Trouble began as soon as the House assembled in the morning. Shiv Sena members from Maharashtra sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's intervention in the matter, with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members divided on the issue along state lines.

Deputy Leader of Opposition Gopinath Munde supported the cause of Maharashtra, while BJP leader from Karnataka Ananth Kumar raised his voice in support of Karnataka.

Shiv Sena MPs gathered near the Speaker's podium waving placards, prompting BJP MPs from Karnataka to do the same.

Meanwhile, leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj started her scathing attack on the government over the price rise and fuel hike issues, accusing it of having "betrayed the common man".

Beginning the debate on the issue in the lower house of parliament, the BJP leader lashed out at the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government for being "insensitive" to the cause of the common man.

"The government is not sensitive to the cause of the common man. Everybody in society is lamenting that they are being hit hard by price rise," Swaraj said.

"The common man is starved. His income is not increasing. But his expenditure is high, because of the rising prices of food articles and petroleum products. The government has betrayed the common man."

Referring to the tax rates on petroleum products in the US, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh, Swaraj said the taxes on petroleum products in India were higher than anywhere in the world.

She also attacked the government for "mishandling" storage of food grains.

"Lakhs and lakhs of tonnes of wheat are rotting in Food Corporation of India (FCI) godowns, while the states are seeking more and more food grains," the BJP leader said.

"That's why I call the government insensitive," Swaraj said.

There was chaos in the Rajya Sabha too. The upper house was also adjourned till 12 noon as opposition party members protested against the diversion of funds meant for Scheduled Castes towards Commonwealth Games expenditure.

As soon as the house met for question hour, opposition MPs were on their feet protesting the diversion of funds.

MPs from the BJP, Left, Samajwadi Party and others shouted slogans against the government.

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