Indian Parliament Adjourns Hours after Starting New Session

Posted August 1st, 2011 at 9:35 am (UTC-5)
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India's parliament shut down hours after reopening Monday when opposition lawmakers caused a commotion shouting angry anti-corruption slogans.

Monday was the first day of the new legislative session, which has the passage of sweeping new laws on food security and government transparency at the top of its agenda.

However, the session was adjourned just before midday when members of the Bharatiya Janata Party attacked the ruling coalition government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over its handling of a series of corruption and bribery scandals.

Before entering the meeting, Mr. Singh had said he hoped the new session would be both productive and constructive. On Sunday, he told reporters that he was ready to take corruption discussions head on.

The government faces allegations related to last year's Commonwealth Games and the awarding of cellular licenses. Meanwhile, some members of the opposition have been implicated in a bribery scandal involving mining contracts.

The renewed political wrangling came as a top Indian advisory panel predicted slower economic growth and lingering high inflation. The Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council scaled down its forecast for India's economic growth to 8.2 from 8.5 percent. Inflation has hovered at around nine percent.