When Lalu became the ?prime minister’ and Munde the ?speaker’

The Hindu, August 21, 2010

After the Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day on Friday, members of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) remained inside the well of the House and staged a sit-in to press their demands.

RJD chief Lalu Prasad later told journalists outside the Parliament House that a ?mock session? of the House was enacted, wherein he acted as prime minister, BJP leader Gopinath Munde as the speaker, and SP leader Mulayam Singh as the deputy speaker.

As the members continued to protest inside the well of the House, the press gallery was cleared. Members of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Janata Dal (United) ? who were miffed at the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill 2010 being passed without discussion ? created an uproar, tore apart the list of business for the day, called it a ?murder of democracy,? and staged a dharna inside the House.

Reacting to reports of the ?mock session,? Speaker Meira Kumar said Parliament was the ?temple of democracy’ and irreverence should not be shown towards it.

During the ?mock session,? which lasted more than an hour, ?debates? were held, including one on the Indian Medical Council Bill, in which Maneka Gandhi (BJP) participated.

?We will see what is to be done on Saturday. I heard the views of the House and the people’s government decided to reject outright the bills cleared,? Mr. Prasad said. The ?members of the new national government? would meet again on Saturday and discuss the salary and other bills.

Mr. Prasad alleged that the UPA government was acting in an ?undemocratic and unconstitutional? manner by clearing important bills without debate and that it was not accepting the members’ demands.

Besides the medical council bill, the ?House? also approved amendments to the trade marks (amendment) bill.

Mr. Munde blamed the government for the bedlam in the Lok Sabha. It was the responsibility of the government and the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry to ensure order in the House.

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