Lok Sabha condemns Team Anna

New Delhi: Lok Sabha today strongly condemned Team Anna for "lowering the dignity" of Parliament after a resolution was moved over which members cutting across party line slammed the activists for using derogatory language against MPs. "Any remark lowering the dignity and esteem of this august House is unwarranted and totally unacceptable," Speaker Meira Kumar said summing up the sense of the House, after a brief discussion.

She said members of the House undergo rigorous scrutiny by the Election Commission under the provisions of Representation of People Act, Model Code of Conduct and other legal requirements while filing their nomination for election. "After meticulously assessing their conduct and performance, the people of India, in their wisdom, elect them. The Parliament, therefore, reflects the collective will of the people of our country," the Speaker said.

Led by JD-U leader Sharad Yadav, members from all political hues came together in Lok Sabha to attack Team Anna for using derogatory language against parliamentarians. Some of them even said that those who levelled attack against the temple of democracy should be summoned in the House to punish them.

Moving a resolution against the civil society members, Yadav said the Speaker should take suo motu action against them for their utterances against democratic institutions. Describing Parliament as a "supreme institution", SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav said those civil society members who challenged its authority should be "summoned and taken to task". He requested consensus among members on the issue. Dara Singh Chauhan (BSP) said those who claim to be "custodians of civil society" were behaving to the contrary.

"There is a conspiracy to gag democracy," he alleged and demanded "stringent action" against Team Anna members. Supporting Mulayam Singh Yadav`s demand, M Thambidurai (AIADMK) said a resolution should be moved in the House and see to it that people who attacked parliamentarians and the Constitutional authority of the highest democratic institution are punished. Referring to Team Anna`s allegations that some of the ministers are corrupt, National Conference leader and Minister Farooq Abdullah said he would quit politics and resign from the House if the allegations against him are proved.

His party colleague Sharief-ud-din Shariq also challenged the Team Anna members to prove the allegations against Abdullah and vowed that he would also leave politics, if these are proved. Condemning the civil society members, Jagadambika Pal (Cong) said the authority of the chair also came under attack. "It is unfair," he said. Raghuvansh Prasad Singh (RJD) said the dignity of Parliament is supreme and some people who have "lost their mind" are speaking against the institution.

Taking jibes, he said some members had gone to Jantar Mantar to lend support to the agitators. "A unanimous resolution was passed in this very House to pass the Lokpal Bill but when it came, some members said it violates the federal structure," he said. Anantrao Adsul (Shiv Sena) said the manner in which the government handled the Anna Hazare agitation led to this situation.