New Delhi: Left parties on Friday boycotted Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien by staging a walkout to protest his presiding over the proceedings of the House when it was debating the Bhandara rape incident in Maharashtra. Kurien was in the Chair when the discussion started soon after Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde completed his statement on allegation of phone tapping of Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley.
CPI and CPI-M members staged walkout resenting Kurien being in the Chair, though they did not boycott him during the Home Minister's reply on the phone-tapping issue. Left parties had earlier said that they will boycott Kurien in the Upper House till his name is cleared of all charges in the Suryanelli rape case.
The Left has been protesting against Kurien both inside and outside Parliament. There have been widespread protests in Kurien's home state Kerala also.