Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Zero Hour walkout by Opposition in Rajya Sabha
and In New Kerala.com
Opposition members in the Rajya Sabha today staged a walkout, dissatisfied by the Government response on the reported denial of a National Institute of Science to Orissa.
Led by the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Biju Janata Dal, the opposition trooped out alleging that Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Suresh Pachauri was ''mixing up issues'' while responding to a Zero Hour Mention on the denial of an NIS to Bhubaneshwar now despite it having been assured earlier.
Earlier, raising the issue, Mr Bijyant Panda (BJD) claimed that the United Progressive Alliance Government was now backing out of an earlier commitment for the setting up of an NIS at Bhubaneshwar on lines similar to the Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Sciences.
He said the decision in this regard, taken by the erstwhile National Democratic Alliance Government, envisaged establishment of NISs at Chennai, Pune, Allahabad and Bhubaneshwar to spread the teaching of sciences across the country as against the existing sole institution--the IIS at Bangalore.
Mr Panda said a recent decision by the Government, however, spoke of setting up Regional Institutes of Science (RIS) at Pune and Kolkata-- with no mention of Bhubaneshwar. ''This is discriminatory'', he alleged.
Mr Panda's contention was supported by other members from Orissa and most opposition members.
Responding, Mr Pachauri claimed that the earlier decision-- during the NDA regime--was one taken by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and that the relevant rules under which UGC had decided on the NISs did not empower it to do so.
And this fact, Mr Pachauri further claimed, had later been ascertained by the NDA government itself.
Questioning the validity of the decision on setting up of NISs at four places in the country--as mentioned by Mr Panda, Mr Pachauri said ''The question now is whether a Government decision had ever been taken in this regard... If the NDA government had taken a decision, we will certainly abide by it....'' He, however, assured the members--at the goading of Chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat--that he would inform the Minister concerned about the members' sentiments on this issue.
Irked by Mr Pachauri stonewalling on the issue, the opposition trooped out of the House.
Comments: Many thanks to all MPs who are fighting to give justice to this issue. But, the UPA govt seems to forget that it is a democartic country and they have to deliver to the conecerns of its citizen.