Saturday, Dec 13, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
The House was earlier adjourned during zero hour after the Congress led a walkout of the main Opposition parties, including the Left and the Rashtriya Janata Dal, as the stalemate continued over its demand for the Information and Broadcasting Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, to either authenticate or withdraw with apology his allegations against the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, in the Ajit Jogi case.
Mr. Prasad had alleged on Thursday that Mr. Jogi was "dumped by the Congress only after he showed the courage to use the name of Sonia Gandhi" in his attempt to put up an alternative Government in Chhattisgarh.
When the House reassembled and the arguments continued, Ms. Heptullah said she had expunged the slogan-shouting against Ms. Gandhi by some BJP members on Thursday but the "dispute" in the Jogi matter had to be settled between the Treasury benches and the Opposition.
The Congress leader, Pranab Mukherjee, said they would leave it to the Leader of the House, Jaswant Singh, to resolve the stalemate on Monday.
Soon after, while there was uproar in the House over the admissibility of a private member's resolution urging the Government to bring forward legislation banning religious conversions, Ms. Heptullah got upset at Mr. Sibal's objection at not being allowed to speak before L.M. Singhvi (BJP).
"Give me a chance after you allow all others to speak," he said with a wave of his hand.
This made Ms. Heptullah visibly angry. "This is an insinuation to the Chair. I take strong objection to it," she said.
But when Mr. Sibal continued she asked him not to argue saying that he had a habit of arguing.
"This is not your court room," she said, but when he persisted, she rose saying, "I am going to adjourn the House. I am not going to sit here," and left the House.
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