Rajya Sabha adjourned as Opposition creates chaos over EVMs


Rajya-Sabha1Proceedings in the Rajya Sabha came to a grinding halt in the Rajya Sabha when Opposition members on April 5 forced a brief adjournment over reported tampering of EVMs to favour the ruling BJP.

The Congress, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party members protested in the Well forcing Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien to adjourn the House.

Denying the charge, the government said if anybody has a problem, they should go to the Election Commission (EC).

Congress and SP members served four notices under Rule 267 seeking suspension of business to take up the issue. When Mayawati called the BJP a cheat, MoS for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that she had insulted the voters and democracy. This led to angry exchanges between Naqvi and Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad.

When the House assembled for the day, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh raised the issue in the upper House. Countering him, HRD Minister Prakash Javedkar said the EC has made it clear there can be no manipulation of EVMs and if the opposition had any problem they should go to the EC.

Azad said free and fair elections were the foundation of Indian democracy, but it was quite unfortunate that aspersions have been cast over EVMs for the first time. He demanded ballot papers be used in Madhya Pradesh bypolls as well as upcoming Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly polls.

Mayawati said it was clear who committed the mass irregularities in the recently concluded elections in Uttar Pradesh and said ballot papers should be used in future elections.

Meanwhile, Naqvi commented that defeat should have grace. This so infuriated the opposition that its members trooped into the Well shouting slogans. Kurien advised that they take up the issue with the EC and so saying adjourned the House till 11.30 am.