National

BJP moves privilege notice against Rahul Gandhi

Congress president Rahul Gandhi. File photo

Congress president Rahul Gandhi. File photo   | Photo Credit: PTI

He had referred to Minister Arun Jaitley as ‘Jaitlie’ in a tweet

BJP member Bhupendra Yadav on Thursday moved a privilege notice in the Rajya Sabha against Congress president Rahul Gandhi for referring to Leader of the House Arun Jaitley as “Jaitlie” in one of his tweets.

Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu, after initially cautioning Mr. Yadav against taking the name of a person who was not present in the House, “who cannot defend himself in the House against a charge or an allegation or an issue raised against him,” said he would examine the notice.

During zero hour, Mr. Yadav said he had given notice under Rule 187 as Mr. Gandhi had “intentionally, maliciously and disrespectfully twisted” the name of Mr. Jaitley in the tweet.

1954 precedent

Mr. Yadav recalled a 1954 precedent when the Special Marriage Bill was adopted by the Rajya Sabha during the prime ministership of Jawaharlal Nehru, when Lok Sabha member N.C. Chatterjee made some comments against the Upper House and a Joint Committee was constituted to examine the issue. According to a book by the late Madhu Dandavate, Chatterjee, father of former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, referred to the members of the Rajya Sabha as “a pack of urchins.”

The statement was published in newspapers. The book said: “Mr. Chatterjee, who was well-versed with rules governing member’s privilege…. moved a counter-Privilege Motion saying, ‘Though I am a member of Lok Sabha, I am being subjected to the jurisdiction of the other House’.”

On Thursday, the Rajya Sabha also witnessed two adjournments in the pre-lunch session as the Opposition protested against the controversial remarks made by Minister Anantkumar Hegde on the Constitution.

On Wednesday, following a prolonged impasse, the House passed two important Bills after the government and the Opposition reached an understanding on Prime Minister’s Narendra Modi's remarks on his predecessor Manmohan Singh during the Gujarat Assembly election campaign.

“A solemn agreement between the Leader of the House and the Leader of the Oppositon was reached. Anybody outside [the House] commenting on the agreement is not good for the House or the system,” Mr. Naidu said.

The House was adjourned briefly in the pre-noon session, as the Congress continued to protest against Mr. Hegde’s remarks. The House was adjourned again a little after noon, till 2 p.m.

When the House met at noon, Mr. Naidu wanted to take up Question Hour, but Opposition members were again on their feet noisily protesting Mr. Hegde’s remarks. Mr. Naidu said it was important that the questions were taken up and that the Opposition members were violating rules.

Congress member B.K. Hariprasad responded that the members were only violating rules while a Minister was violating the Constitution.

An angry Mr. Naidu said that since Mr. Hariprasad had himself admitted to violating rules, he would have to think about what action could be taken against him. Treasury Bench members, including Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah, watched as Union Minister Vijay Goel said the House to which Mr. Hegde belonged was functioning while the Rajya Sabha was finding it difficult to transact business.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 2:04:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bjp-moves-privilege-notice-against-rahul-gandhi/article22320409.ece

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