MPs of the opposition unlikely to face action for their ruckus in RS

New Delhi: On the last day of the monsoon session, Venkaiah Naidu began consulting a lawyer about possible actions against opposition MPs who were allegedly disrupting House proceedings, damaging property, and manhandling marshals.

The government’s pursuit of punitive action against opposition MPs accused of creating chaos in the Rajya Sabha on August 11 could be delayed (if at all), not simply because it is a lengthy process, but also because the final step involves the House is in session.

Officials familiar with the matter said Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu must review the allegations carefully, consult experts, and take legal advice before deciding whether a panel should be established to recommend what action needs to be taken against the lawmakers.

As any action against legislators must undergo a motion (proposal) in the Rajya Sabha to get approval, it can only be taken during the next session, said former Lok Sabha secretary general P Sreedharan.

MPs accuse marshals of inhumane treatment, property destruction, and disruptions in the session. Naidu is currently seeking legal consultation to see what action can be taken against the MPs.

When unruly behavior or violence is suspected by the secretariat, a panel may be created. The secretariat clarified that steps can be taken against a member even after the session is over. “The monsoon session might have ended, but the lawmakers continue to be a member of the House,” explained a top functionary who asked not to be named.

However, Naidu does not support suspending House members for the remaining time of their terms.

Leader of the House Piyush Goyal led a delegation of seven ministers to meet Naidu on August 15 and request action against the members for their alleged violent, extreme and unprecedented conduct. In the Upper House, lawmakers were seen climbing tables and ripping papers, as well as throwing the rule book and damaging property. The government has already called upon him to take exemplary action against those politicians.

As reported to Naidu by the Rajya Sabha secretariat, some opposition leaders “threatened” deputy chairman Harivansh and even used “abusive language” while doing so.

An uproar broke out in the Upper House on the last day of parliament’s monsoon session as the government tried to pass the general insurance amendment bill even though a section of the opposition opposed it, claiming that it required scrutiny by a select committee.

A senior BJP leader said the party’s allies and friendly parties were also speculating about writing to the Rajya Sabha chairperson to complain about the disruptions, noting that the disruptions prevented them from raising issues in the house and obstruct their functioning.