New Delhi: In a display of determination to aggressively take on BJP, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday led from the front by egging on her members in the Lok Sabha to counter opposition's sloganeering on coal allocation issue.

Gandhi showed her combativeness in Parliament soon after telling party MPs not to be deflected by the "intemperate Congress bashing" by the opposition.

Even before the Question Hour began, she was seen engaged in an animated conversation with leaders of key UPA allies -- NCP chief Sharad Pawar and NC head Farooq Abdullah.

Then, she walked up to Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav seat and sat with him for a chat. She wished Yadav with a "namaste" and left with a "shukriya" (thank you).

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Gandhi's pro-activeness was visible later when the Lok Sabha met again at noon after the Question Hour was adjourned.

When BJP members trooped into the Well and shouted slogans against Congress, Gandhi asked Minister Ambika Soni to stand up and counter them. Amid din, Gandhi also tried to draw the Chair's attention towards Soni.

Soni tried to speak at the top of her voice but was inaudible. Gandhi then asked other Congress members to stand up and take on BJP. When some members from Treasury Benches walked to the Well and had an exchange of words with BJP MPs, Gandhi restrained her party colleagues from entering the Well.

Well aware that the House is not going to function, many members tried to out-shout each other on the floor before the proceedings resumed at noon.

Lalu Prasad (RJD) entered the House declaring that the real reason for BJP's protest is that it does not want passage of crucial Bills, including the one for reservation in promotions in government jobs for SC/STs.

BJP members shouted that Prasad is miffed as he did not get a share of the "fat sum" that has gone to Congress in the coal allocation scam.


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