Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Wal-Mart row: Government ready for probe, Kamal Nath says

Wal-Mart row: Government ready for probe, Kamal Nath says
Clean Media Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Dec 11 (CMC) The government has said that it is ready to probe the Wal-Mart lobbying report.

The government is also concerned about the disclosure and is open to an inquiry to know the truth, parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath told reporters outside Parliament on Tuesday.

The BJP wants a time-bound judicial probe into the issues

Earlier, the row resonated once again in the Parliament on Tuesday leading to adjournment of both the Houses.

The opposition, led by the BJP, insisted on suspension of Question Hour to discuss the lobbying issue.
In the Rajya Sabha, BJP members were up on their feet soon after Chairman Hamid Ansari made an obituary reference to former member G Swaminathan.

Within minutes, BJP members raised the issue of reported lobbying by Wal-Mart and SP members were objecting to the proposed move to provide reservations to SC/ST in promotion in government jobs.

When repeated efforts failed, Ansari said a situation has arisen where "the chair has to watch helplessly" frequent disruption of Question Hour.

He said he proposed to call meeting of the rules committee and suggest shifting the Question Hour or dispense with it all together.

Ansari then adjourned the House for 30 minutes.

When the Rajya Sabha reconvened, BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu insisted on immediate discussion.

In the Lok Sabha, as soon as Speaker Meira Kumar took up the Question Hour, members of BSP, Left parties and Trinamool Congress trooped into the Well raising slogans demanding inquiry into reports of lobbying by Wal-Mart and status of probe in the coal block allocation.

BJP members were on their feet demanding that the Speaker suspend Question Hour and ask the government to reply on the lobbying issue.

BSP members were in the Well raising slogans claiming that the government was trying to brush under the carpet the alleged scam in allocation of coal block.

The uproar continued even as the Speaker made repeated appeals for allowing the Question Hour to continue. Her assurances of allowing members to raise the issues during Question Hour also failed to cut any ice with the agitating members.

As the din continued, the Speaker adjourned the House till noon.

The BJP said that it had given a notice for the suspension of Question Hour given the seriousness of the issue. Stepping up the attack, the party has demanded an independent probe into the lobbying issue.

We have decided to raise the issue with greater seriousness. It is important to know who got the money, BJP leader Ravishankar Prasad said.

He said the government's response that lobbying was done in the US does not hold ground as the money was used in India.

The government, meanwhile, rejected the opposition charges.

Information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari slammed the BJP for stalling the Parliament.

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