New Delhi, March 27 (IANS) Parliamentarians cutting across party lines Tuesday lashed out at social activist Anna Hazare and his team members for using intemperate language against MPs. A censure was not taken up by Speaker Meira Kumar, but she allowed a brief discussion on the issue during zero hour.
Team Anna members said they stood by their criticism.
In the Lok Sabha, winding up the debate on the issue, Meira Kumar without naming anybody said the dignity of parliament should be upheld because people elect their representatives to the house with faith in them.
"Parliament reflects the collective view of the country. Any remark lowering the dignity of the house is unwarranted and unacceptable," she said in a brief observation at the end of the short debate.
However, she did not allow the censure motion given by National Democratic Alliance (NDA) convenor and Janata Dal-United (JD-U) head Sharad Yadav demanding that the Lok Sabha pass a resolution censuring Team Anna members. A discussion on the issue was taken up during zero hour.
The man in the eye of the storm is Team Anna key member Arvind Kejriwal who had said that parliament was facing a credibility crisis with 162 sitting MPs facing criminal charges. He also said some MPs were thieves and rapists.
Kejriwal later said they were not sorry for what they had said.
"We don't apologise about what we have said about parliamentarians. They (parliamentarians) have failed to answer questions raised by common people," he said.
During the debate, Sharad Yadav said individual criticism was welcome "but that doesn't mean the house should be degraded".
"I accept that some people, who should not have come, have been elected to the house... But don't forget that this institution also fights its war against corruption," he said, adding parliament was the only institution that has sent its members to jail on graft charges.
He was referring to Suresh Kalmadi of the Congress and A. Raja of the DMK.
Sharad Yadav asked the speaker "to protect the sanctity of this house" and "don't let people criticise this institution".
"Don't let people undermine this house," he said as other members thumped their desks in agreement.
Mulayam Singh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party demanded that Kejriwal should be called to the house and asked to explain his behaviour.
"He should be called in the house, stand here and explain his conduct," the SP chief said.
Those who spoke on the issue include Dara Singh Chauhan of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), M. Thambidurai of the AIADMK, Farooq Abdullah and Sharif-ud-din Shariq of the National Conference, Jagdambika Pal of the Congress, and Raghuvansh Prasad Singh of the Rashtriya Janata Dal.
Many MPs asked the speaker to move a resolution condemning the unsavoury remarks by members of Hazare's team during their renewed anti-corruption agitation at Jantar Mantar Sunday.
The censure motion, if adopted and voted by a majority in the house, would have meant a severe criticism of Team Anna members with them being named, but they would not have to be called to the house as under a privilege motion.
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