Conspicuous by absence: Kurien was upset about events in RS, say sources

Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien didn’t chair the House proceedings on Thursday. According to sources, Kurien was upset about the events of Wednesday evening in the Rajya Sabha. After the debate on the motion of thanks to the President’s address concluded on Wednesday, the House took up the discussion on the 2018-19 Union Budget. Kurien, who was in the chair, asked senior Congress leader P Chidambaram to initiate the discussion. Three Telugu Desam Party members entered the well of the House and started shouting slogans. Kurien asked one of them, C M Ramesh, to withdraw from the House. The errant member refused. The marshals were called in and took hold of Ramesh but treasury members dissuaded them from physically lifting the member. Ramesh remained in the House even after the House reconvened after a brief adjournment. When asked if Kurien had offered to quit, Anand Sharma, Deputy Leader of the Congress in the Rajya Sabha, said they were told that the Deputy Chairman was unwell. “We take that to be the reason for his absence,” Sharma said.

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