A consultation with experts is conducted by V.P. Naidu about the future of MPs
Several opposition leaders made political comments about the impartiality of the chair for the first time in the recent history of Parliament
New Delhi: Venkaiah Naidu is seeking legal advice on possible actions against Opposition MPs for disrupting house proceedings, damaging property, and causing chaos on the final day of Parliament’s monsoon session.
Naidu said that any attacks on the chair are intended to “weaken the democratic structure” amidst the escalating battle between the BJP and the opposition. Apparently, some Opposition leaders have taken “abusive language” against deputy chairman Harivansh and threatened him.
A few Opposition leaders made political comments regarding the impartial role of the chair for the first time in the recent history of Parliament.
As stated by a senior functionary, the chair is unable to retort or reply to the accusations without compromising his gravitas. Naidu was unable to sleep that night due to his upset. An aide said that he even had to consult a doctor.
Naidu’s office is considering precedents for punitive action for violation of the rules and code of conduct, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The former UN secretary-general VK Agnihotri has also been consulted as part of the decision-making process.
Even after the session is over, actions can be taken against members, according to the secretariat. “The monsoon session might have ended, but the member of the House is still there,” said a top official.
The suspension of MPs for violations has occurred in the past. The attack on marshals is the first time they have been attacked,” the official cited above said. However, Naidu is wary of taking the extreme step of suspending a member for the remainder of that member’s term in the House.
According to the opposition, the uproar in the Rajya Sabha was sparked by “outsiders” acting as marshals. Two women members were also allegedly brutally assaulted, it is alleged.
Their complaints included a government stonewalling their requests to talk about the Pegasus row, farm issues, and price rises, rushing bills through without debate, and muzzling their voices.
At the same time, the government requested Naidu to punish lawmakers who climbed tables, destroyed the rule book, ripped papers, and damaged property in the Upper House.
In response to the stalemate and disruptions, Naidu said, “Outside political battles should not be fought on the floor of the House.”
“The government and the Opposition are like two eyes; I treat them both equally,” Naidu said, responding to charges that he did not allow discussions regarding issues raised by the Opposition.
The Rajya Sabha secretariat pointed out that such an assurance was given during any of Naidu’s meetings or in the House, as per certain allegations made by some sections of the Opposition.
Following the complaints of at least two marshals who were injured while trying to restrain the lawmakers who had entered the House well, the government requested a committee be set up to investigate the incidents and suggest strict actions.
The Union minister and leader of the Rajya Sabha, Piyush Goyal, said on Thursday, “We (a group of ministers) met with the chairperson and deputy chair and called for strong action against the conduct of the staff on the last day of the session.”
A subsequent security operation, including that conducted by outsiders, escalating tensions between the two sides.
Derek O’Brien, Trinamool Congress leader, responded to the government’s charges, “The President is an honorable man. His actions, however, were not honorable.”
According to Naidu, the government and the House have the ultimate decision to send bills to select committees for scrutiny.
“Whenever differences persist on such matters, the House collectively decides, and the chair cannot insist one way or another,” he said.