Advani calls UPA-II 'illegitimate,' retracts later
At 84, age has started showing on BJP patriarch Lal Krishna Advani as he mixed up facts in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday to call the UPA-II as "illegitimate" for winning the election by buying votes with crores of rupees.
He corrected himself only after 15 minutes of pandemonium that he was not referring to the 2009 elections but the confidence vote won by the Manmohan Singh Government in 2008 by buying the MPs and the BJP's whistle-blower MPs who exposed it by bringing the bribe money in the house were sent to jails.
The BJP members, led by Opposition leader Sushma Swaraj, came in his defence against the strong protests by the Congress and other ruling members but they too admitted they were confused why Advani went off-track while making out a right case of the Centre's failure reflected in the ethnic violence in the Bodo areas of Assam on an adjournment allowed by the Lok Sabha Speaker on the very first day of Parliament's monsoon session.
Advani was actually carried away after referring, for no rhyme or reason, to his last Sunday's controversial blog on a non-Cong, non-BJP PM next time saying he was happy at a Congress spokesman dubbing it as the BJP's acceptance of defeat and then went on to accuse the UPA-II as illegitimate for buying votes using crores of rupees.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who never loses her cool despite uproarious scenes, was agitated as she gestured and shouted at the BJP members and kept signaling the ruling benches not to let Advani get away with his "illegitimate" slur on the UPA.
Speaker Meira Kumar tried in vain to pacify the agitated ruling members that she will call the proceedings and expunge the "objectionable" remarks. Finding the ruckus becoming louder and louder since Sonia was gesticulating the Congress members, she pleaded with Advani to withdraw one word that has hurt their feelings to proceed further with the discussion.
Sushma Swaraj intervened to point out that Advani has admitted twice amid the pandemonium that it was his mistake to refer to the 2009 elections and all that he wanted to state was that the government has failed not only on the economic front but also on the national security front.
The Speaker then firmly told Advani to withdraw his words or else the whole adjournment debate will collapse. So far he was trying to clarify that he was referring to 2008 confidence vote and not 2009 which was just not acceptable to the ruling benches since he had clearly said that UPA-I was legitimate while UPA-II was illegitimate. At the Speaker's goading, he finally withdrew his remarks, saying "maine withdraw kar liya" but went on to again add that "my reference was to the confidence vote."
Even as the Speaker asked why he was qualifying the withdrawal of comments, another pandemonium broke out between the ruling and BJP benches, resulting in adjournment of the House for the lunch break. The debate was, however, back on rails when the House re-assembled post-lunch. The House was also adjourned during the question hour because of pandemonium by various parties insisting on taking up their issues first.