BJP submits privilege motion against Chidambaram

New Delhi : The BJP Tuesday submitted a privilege motion against Home Minister P. Chidambaram, who has been in the focus of opposition ire for allegedly disrespecting parliament by speaking to the media on a controversy over helping a former client.

BJP’s Yashwant Sinha submitted the notice to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar after a meeting of the parliamentary party chaired by senior leader L.K. Advani.

Sinha reminded the speaker of the notice after Question Hour was over and wanted to speak on it. Meira Kumar disallowed him, saying she had received the notice and it was under her consideration.

“You have not given a notice to speak. You are senior member and you should know the rules. Please sit down,” the speaker told the BJP leader.

Another BJP leader, S.S. Ahluwalia, said the notice related to the “disrespect” shown by the home minister by making a statement outside of the house when parliament was in session.

“Chidamabaram has talked to the media outside when the parliament session is on. Instead of making a statement inside parliament, he decided to give a statement to the media. This amounts to disrespect of parliament. Yashwant Sinha has moved a notice of privilege against him,” Ahluwalia told reporters.

The BJP-led opposition has been gunning for Chidambaram over his alleged help to a former client in quashing police cases of forgery against him.

After days of furore in parliament over the issue, the home minister at a media conference last week said he was “deeply hurt” and rejected the opposition charge that he had misused his office while withdrawing prosecution against S.P. Gupta, the businessman he represented as a lawyer.

The government and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have strongly backed the home minister.

Ahluwalia said it was “not proper” on the part of the prime minister “to give a clean chit to Chidambaram”.

“This is not right. All papers should be put before parliament. There should be discussion and then parliament will decide what is right or not,” the BJP leader said.

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