20 September, 2020

'Advaniji Too Was Confused'

The Congress chief whip recounts the events of December 13th as they unfolded before his eyes

'Advaniji Too Was Confused'
It was 11.35 am. We were just through with a meeting in the Speaker’s Chamber. There was Mulayam Singh, Pramod Mahajan, Shivraj Patil and I. Some TV journalists wanted me to step outside to give a sound byte. I was at Gate No 1 (main exit from the Parliament building) when I heard gunfire. Soon after I saw people running. The Lok Sabha security closed the door abruptly and asked us to stay inside.

Some of us rushed to room No 25 next to the Congress Parliamentary Party office. I was with a Times of India journalist and Shivraj Patil. A little later curiosity got the better of us and we stepped out. We saw Kuldip Nayyar and Sanjay Nirupam in the corridor. I told them it was inadvisable to stay inside as there could be an explosion within Parliament. So we went out to the inner courtyard outside the Central Hall—but within the Parliament building—and stood near the statue of Maulana Azad. We had no clue about what was happening. Our mobiles had stopped working. Most of the MPs were either in the Central Hall or in their rooms. The security staff had sealed all exits...



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