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Rajya Sabha logjam ends; Govt, Opposition reach compromise

The govt. and opposition leaders agreed to a compromise formula to end protests over Union Minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti’s (in picture) controversial remarks. File photo

The govt. and opposition leaders agreed to a compromise formula to end protests over Union Minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti’s (in picture) controversial remarks. File photo  

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The impasse in the Rajya Sabha over the controversial remarks of Union Minister of State Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti ended on Monday after Chairman Hamid Ansari read out a consensus statement appealing to all members to “maintain civility at all costs in public discourse.”

In his brief statement, to which the ruling alliance and the Opposition had agreed, the Chairman said: “This House, while acknowledging the statement of (the) Prime Minister made in this House on December 4, appeals to all members of Parliament, Ministers and leaders of all political parties to maintain civility at all costs in public discourse for the successful functioning of Parliamentary democracy and to uphold our commitment to Constitutional values.”

The House resumed normal functioning and Question Hour was taken up after Mr. Ansari’s statement. The Chairman’s statement, which he said was part of the proceedings, came after a united Opposition was disallowed from moving a resolution condemning hate speeches. Anand Sharma (Congress) and Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) sought a vote to ascertain the “sense of the House” on the resolution which condemned “inflammatory and derogatory speeches that violated the spirit of the Constitution.”

Even as BJP members vociferously opposed the move and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Muktar Abbas Naqvi said no permission was taken to move the resolution, Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien ruled that there was no consensus for a resolution. This led to two adjournments during Zero Hour.

The truce was arrived at after leaders of political parties met in Mr. Ansari’s chamber before Question Hour and worked out a statement that was acceptable to all sides. Leader of the House Arun Jaitley, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu and Mr. Naqvi were from the government, while Anand Sharma (Congress), Ram Gopal Yadav ( Samajwadi Party), Sitaram Yechury (CPM), D. Raja (CPI), K.C. Tyagi (JD-U), Satish Mishra (BSP), Derek O’Brien (TMC) and Praful Patel (NCP) represented the Opposition. While the statement was being worked out, Mr. Kurien adjourned Question Hour twice without conducting any business.

Outside Parliament, Mr. Sharma said the Opposition had been most reasonable in that “first it wanted the dismissal of the Minister, then it asked for a censure motion and then a condemnation resolution but now it was only asked for a general resolution.” According to him, the Opposition resolution was the property of the House

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 11:18:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rajya-sabha-logjam-ends-govt-opposition-reach-compromise-on-sadhvi-issue/article6672446.ece

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