Rediff Logo Business Banner Ads
Find/Feedback/Site Index
June 11, 1998


Send this story to a friend

Opposition blasts Govt over Maruti

The Opposition tried to pin down the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition describing the recent accord with Suzuki Motor Corporation over the Maruti issue as a total sellout.

Several Opposition stalwarts were up on their feet as soon as question hour was over. But Congress leader K Karunakaran, a former industry minister, was the first to be allowed to raise the issue and he demanded a full-fledged discussion on it.

The Dravida Munnetra Kazagham's Murasoli Maran, also a former industry minister, was the next to be called by Speaker Ganti Mohana Chandra Balayogi. But when he stood up to speak, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazagham bloc was also up on its feet and walked out of the House after making certain remarks about Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi.

The remarks of the AIADMK members, vociferously led by S Muttiah and V Sathiamoorthy, could not be heard in the din.

At one stage several Opposition members including the Communist Party of India's Geeta Mukherjee and Basudeb Acharya rushed to the Speaker's podium. But were pacified when Balayogi told them that he was permitting a short-duration discussion on the subject tomorrow.

He also said the government had no objection to a discussion.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Madan Lal Khurana said, "If the members want a discussion, they could give a proper notice to the Speaker so that the industry minister was present in the House."

Former industry minister P J Kurien of the Congress also made certain remarks but not much could be made out because of the uproar.

Janata Party chief Dr Subramanian Swamy remarked, pointing towards the ruling party benches, ''They will sell the country.''

Karunakaran said Suzuki had merely invested Rs 1.03 billion and had taken back Rs 3 billion already.

Maran said the recent accord with regard to the Rs 150 billion company was a total sellout.

He said when R S S L Bhaskarudu was made managing director there was complete unanimity in the whole spectrum of political opinion in the country. He said even the Bharatiya Janata Party had agreed with the move.

Justifying his contention that the accord was a complete sellout, Maran said Maruti was a joint venture and there was nothing wrong in negotiations and give-and-take. ''But the agreement only gives to SMC and nothing has been taken.''

He held that both the posts of the chairman and the managing director had been surrendered to the Japanese company.


Tell us what you think of this report