Parliament adjourned till Friday on Sarabjit death

New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) Both houses of parliament were adjourned till Friday as the BJP protested Sarabjit Singh’s death and the Akali Dal raised the issue of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar’s acquittal in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

In the Lok Sabha, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members came close to the speaker’s podium and denounced Pakistan over Sarabjit Singh’s killing early Thursday morning.

Expressing deep shock and sorrow, the lower house later passed a resolution condoling Sarabjit Singh’s death while condemning the “inhuman treatment” meted out to him in a Pakistani jail.

“This house expresses its deep sense of shock and sorrow on the sad demise of Sarabjit Singh, an Indian citizen in Jinnah Hospital, Lahore, in Pakistan after he was brutally assaulted by his fellow inmates in a Pakistani jail,” Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar said in a resolution passed by the house.

“The house condemns the inhuman treatment meted out to Sarabjit Singh in a Pakistani jail and hopes the culprits will be brought to book,” said the resolution.

The members of the lower house conveyed their condolences to the bereaved family and stood in silence for a minute as a mark of respect to Sarabjit Singh, who was on death row in Pakistan and died after he was assaulted by fellow prisoners April 26.

The house was finally adjourned for the day after Food Minister K.V. Thomas presented the National Food Security Bill for consideration and passing amid the din around 3 p.m.

“We have moved the bill… let us see,” Thomas told IANS after the house was adjourned.

The Rajya Sabha was also disrupted as BJP members demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Law and Justice Minister Ashwani Kumar over the allocation of coal blocks and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) raised the issue of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar being acquitted in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

As soon as the upper house met for the day at 11 a.m., members of the BJP were on their feet demanding that Manmohan Singh and Ashwani Kumar quit over irregularities in coal blocks allotment.

Members from the SAD protested the acquittal of Sajjan Kumar by a Delhi court in a case related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

Amidst continuing din, the upper house was adjourned till noon, till 2 p.m. and later for the day.

Earlier, the BJP walked out of the house after the Finance Bill 2013 was introduced, saying it was dissatisfied with the moral standards of the government and thus could not cooperate.

The upper house passed the Finance Bill and other money bills after a short debate.

The money bills were passed in the Lok Sabha Tuesday without debate.

As part of an agreement reached between the government and the opposition, the Finance Bill and demands for grants for various ministries, along with the railway bill and appropriation bill, were taken up by the Rajya Sabha in the afternoon, with the opposition agreeing to maintain peace in the house.

Speaking after the bills were introduced, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley of the BJP said the opposition did not want to cooperate with the government, but it also did not want to stall the passage of the Finance Bill, and so chose to walk out.

“There is a constitutional need that all Finance Bills are discussed, but we regret the condition of morality, governance and the situation of the nation; hence we cannot cooperate with the government,” Jaitley said.

Slamming the government for its weak foreign policy, corruption and attempts to cover up scams, the opposition leader said it was an indication of the collapse of governance.

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