The Rajya Sabha privileges committee did not take cognisance of a petition moved by BJP MP G.V.L. Narasimha Rao against Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan as it did not follow due procedure.
Mr. Rao’s plea was not considered primarily on the grounds that it has to be approved and forwarded by Rajya Sabha Chairperson Venkaiah Naidu. Since Mr. Naidu is travelling, he hasn’t so far studied the petition. “It will be taken up by the committee once he approves it. And we will be raising this issue during the next session of Parliament,” one of the BJP members said.
The privileges committee, headed by Deputy Chairman Sabha Harivansh, has nine other members, four of whom are of the BJP. The Congress has two members: Anand Sharma and Ripun Bora. The others include Sasikala Pushpa of the AIADMK, P. Wilson of the DMK and Sasmit Patra of the BJD.
According to sources, the BJP members supported Mr. Rao’s petition, while the Opposition MPs pointed to the procedural errors. “There were many procedural omissions. The committee can consider any petition only after the Chairman’s nod and whenever the matter is taken up, the member who has moved the petition has to recuse himself from the meeting,” one member said.
Mr. Rao had written to Mr. Naidu on December 31, seeking to initiate breach of parliament privileges and contempt proceedings against Mr. Vijayan for a resolution passed by the Assembly terming the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, passed by both Houses of Parliament, “illegal and unconstitutional”. He had alleged that Mr. Vijayan’s statement during introduction of the resolution was in “complete disregard to parliamentary sovereignty” and is a “wanton and wilful violation of constitutional positions”.