Trouble broke out after Chaudhary Munavver Saleem (SP) in a Zero Hour mention referred to Swamy being part of the movement in 1970s to protect the minority status of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).. BJP leader Swamy got up to clarify saying he had no objection to minority education institutions but the Constitution prohibits the State from financing them. (Source: Express Photo by Gajendra Yadav/ File)
BJP’s Subramanian Swamy riled up Congress for the second consecutive day Thursday when he made an indirect reference to party president Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origin during a discussion in the Rajya Sabha.
His comments were expunged by Deputy Chairman P J Kurien, who then warned Swamy of action for “unnecessarily provoking” the Opposition. That’s when Minister of State, Parliamentary Affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who till then was defending Swamy, sprung to his feet and advised the BJP leader to sit down.
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Rajya Sabha witnessed its first disruption Thursday when Swamy drew attention to the notice he had submitted for discussion on AgustaWestland chopper scam.
As Congress MPs heckled him, Naqvi jumped to his support. “Stopping an MP from speaking is a violation of rules. We seek the Chair’s protection,” Naqvi told Kurien. Order was restored in the House, albeit briefly.
Trouble broke out again minutes later when SP’s Chaudhary Munavver Saleem raised the issue of Aligarh Muslim University’s minority character and referred to Swamy being part of the 1970’s movement to protect the university’s minority status.
Swamy replied, “I have no objection to minority institutions in the country. However, Article 27 prohibits the state from financing a minority institution.”
When heckled again by Congress leaders, Swamy shot back with an indirect reference to Sonia’s foreign origin. This threw the Opposition into a tizzy with Congress MPs trooping into the Well, calling Swamy a “CIA agent”. The BJP leader, in response, started shouting “ISI”.
As Kurien tried to pacify the agitating MPs, assuring them that the reference to Italy had been expunged, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “The problem is not us. The problem is this new gift of the BJP which will not allow us to function.”“It is only his second day in Parliament. In two days, you have expunged his remarks twice… there are 365 days, how many times you are going to expunge his words? This man has aged but does not know the difference between street words and Parliament words,” Azad added.
After a point, it seemed that BJP, too, was struggling to contain Swamy’s enthusiasm. Naqvi was seen repeatedly advising him to sit down. Swamy would relent for a few seconds only to stand up again to repeat his comments. At one point, Kurien warned him of action for “unnecesarily provoking” the Opposition and ordered his mic to be turned off.
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