Bedlam in RS over Paks nuke programme

New Delhi, July 26 | Updated: Jul 27 2006, 05:30am hrs
The Rajya Sabha was adjourned twice in pre-lunch session on Wednesday with the NDA and the Samajwadi Party members creating uproar demanding a categorical response from the government on Pakistans nuclear programme.

The members expressed serious apprehensions over reports that Pakistan planned to have a nuclear reactor that could generate plutonium for upto 50 atomic bombs a year and wanted to know Indias response to the development which threatened to disturb peace in the region.

When the members pressed for a response, defence minister Pranab Mukherjee, who was present in the House, said there could not be an instant reply for everything. It cannot be like instant coffee, he said and left the House.

This triggered a bout of strong protests from the BJP and the SP members, who trooped into the well creating bedlam for 15 minutes leading to the first adjournment of the House for 30 minutes.

The Opposition members demanded that Mukherjee should apologise for his remarks which, they said, amounted to insulting the House. The House was adjourned by Deputy chairman K Rehman Khan within minutes after the lunch. Raising the issue, Digvijay Singh of the JD(U) said in the last two days newspapers were reporting that Pakistan was developing a reactor capable of producing 50 nuclear bombs.