Illustration: Binay Sinha
On his own terms
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Rajya Sabha member Subramanian Swamy is becoming a headache for the party leadership. On Thursday evening, Swamy tweeted: “I came to see a friend in AIIMS. And to my surprise, I saw Lalu Yadav's room. I then saw him and wished him. We are friends since the ‘JP’ movement.” Earlier in the day, Swamy refused to toe the line on the top leadership's decision to have all its Members of Parliament, and those of its allies, surrender their salaries and allowances for the duration of the second half of the Budget session to protest disruptions by the Opposition. Swamy said he attended Parliament proceedings everyday and it was not his fault that no business could be transacted in the House. He also said that he would not forgo his salary until asked by the President to do so. “I am the President's representative, until he says so how can I say I'll not take my salary,” he said.
Not ready to budge
It proved to be a long day for Parliament staff on Thursday. Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Rajya Sabha members refused to leave the House, as a mark of protest, even after it was adjourned for the day at 2.20 pm. MPs paid no heed to requests made by Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien and others. TDP’s Lok Sabha MPs too refused to leave the Central Hall of Parliament threatening to spend the night there. Meanwhile the YSR Congress Party has asked its Lok Sabha MPs to resign from Parliament on Friday, the last day of the Budget session. The MPs will also sit on a hunger strike at the Andhra Bhavan in New Delhi.