Opposition Protests Force Indian Parliament to Adjourn

Posted November 22nd, 2011 at 7:40 am (UTC-5)
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India's parliament has adjourned minutes after opening its winter session.

Opposition lawmakers disrupted the proceedings Tuesday with renewed protests against corruption and rising prices.

The 21-day session is expected to focus on an anti-corruption bill that would create an ombudsman to investigate top politicians and senior officials. Last year's winter session was paralyzed by protests.

Opposition members shouted and refused to listen to Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram because of his alleged role in a multi-billion dollar telecom scandal when he was the country's finance minister.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urged lawmakers to cooperate on addressing important issues and said his government is ready to discuss the opposition's concerns.

The government also wants to pass measures expanding food subsidies and sharing mining profits with local communities.

Mr. Singh's ruling Congress Party has been hit by several corruption scandals, including widespread allegations of graft during the 2010 Commonwealth Games, which were hosted by India.

More than a dozen defendants have been accused of conspiring to sell cellular phone licenses at cut-rate prices to the benefit of a few companies. The telecom scandal is believed to have cost the Indian government up to $40 billion in lost revenue.