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Parliament proceedings | ‘My way or highway’ approach will not work in House: Venkaiah Naidu

Chairman Venkaiah Naidu in the Rajya Sabha on September 22, 2020.   | Photo Credit: Rajya Sabha TV

Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday said he allowed the motion moved by the government to suspend eight members as he was convinced about it. He said “my way or highway” approach would not work in the House.

On Monday, a day after the pandemonium in the House during the passage of the farmers’ Bills, the eight MPs were suspended.

Mr. Naidu appreciated the conduct of Deputy Chairman Harivansh who, on Tuesday, reached out to the eight MPs sitting on a night-long protest on the Parliament premises. He said Mr. Harivansh wrote a letter to him expressing his commitment to democracy and that he wanted to observe a fast.

“This is a Gandhian way, this is the JP way. We shouldn’t try to score political points. The images appearing on TV is unbecoming of the House of the Elders. Despite everything, Harivansh ji made tea at home and brought it for the protesting MPs”, Mr. Naidu said.

Parliament proceedings updates

Many times in the past, Bills have been passed in din without division. “It is not a healthy thing, but has happened before. All eight MPs who have been suspended have justified their conduct. Don’t try to put the blame on the Chair. The Deputy Chairman handled the situation in a very deft manner. We are also pained. We are also human beings. Whatever is happening has an impact on our health”, Mr. Naidu said. He added that the Deputy Chairman cautioned them and asked 13 times if they wanted a division.

Not here for tamasha: Gowda

Former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda said, “The government and the Opposition should sit together to help you run the House. We have not come here for tamasha”.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshy said the government was not hell bent upon keeping the suspended MPs out of the House and “If they express regret, the government will look into it”.

Ram Gopal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party said there had been a mistake by the Opposition. He apologised on behalf of the suspended MPs and sought the revocation of their suspension.

K. Keshava Rao of the TRS cited The Hindu editorial “bashing us all. We are feeling bad”. “We asked for division vote and that was not granted to us. Three minutes time for division was not granted to us”, he said.

Tiruchi Siva of the DMK said basic democratic rights were denied. “We were denied division”.

Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said no one was happy with what transpired in the House over the past two days. “We fight for each minute in the House like it’s a fight at the border. If we go beyond time restrictions, things will be de-escalated 90%”, he noted.

Mr. Azad earlier said that he should be allowed to speak as only five months of his Rajya Sabha tenure remained and this could well be his last speech amid uncertainty over the resumption of House in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Day before yesterday was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. Bills don’t go to standing committee or the select committee. I don't approve of the fight- breaking the mics, standing on the tables. But it was the last straw. There were 18 parties on one side and the NDA on the other. I don’t know if the government had the numbers or not”, he said referring to the farm Bills.

Jaitley statement

Mr. Azad recalled that Arun Jaitley, in 2016, said the government became illegitimate if division of votes was denied. The stature of the Leader of the Opposition had been downgraded, Mr. Azad observed.

“The MSP announced yesterday should have been done before. Today, the government has issued an advertisement saying ‘one nation, one market’. Don’t go towards one nation, one party. The government should bring a new Bill to make MSP mandatory on private companies. We will boycott the session till the government takes back the decision,” he added.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 6:35:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/parliament-proceedings-my-way-or-highway-approach-will-not-work-in-house-venkaiah-naidu/article32670576.ece

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