Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu has asked both the Government and the Opposition to hold discussions to end the impasse in the Upper House.
His appeal seems to have made an impact and the Upper House passed the Dam Safety Authority Bill here on Thursday after discussing it for more than four hours.
The Opposition members walked out of the House protesting the suspension 12 MPs on the first day of the current session, and for not being allowed to raise the issue of Minimum Support Price and the cases filed against protesting farmers. The Opposition also questioned Naidu’s stand and forced an adjournment till noon soon after Naidu read out his statement.
Naidu, however, maintained that there was nothing undemocratic in the decision to suspend 12 MPs. He said some of the leaders and members of the House chose to describe the suspension of 12 members as ‘undemocratic’. “I have struggled to understand if there was any justification in that kind of a narrative being propagated but could not. The latest suspension is not the first time to have happened. Such suspension of members, starting in 1962 happened on 11 occasions till 2010, further to a Motion moved by the Governments of the day. Were all of them undemocratic? If so, why it was resorted to so many times?,” Naidu asked.
The Vice-President said not even a word is being said about the reasons for the suspension. He said that the conduct of some members during the last session should be called as ‘acts of sacrilege’. “Unfortunately, a message is sought to be sent out that ‘sacrilege’ of the House is democratic but action against such sacrilege is undemocratic. I am sure people of the country would not buy this new norms of democracy,” he said.
He said the Leader of the House Piyush Goyal has stated in the House that revocation of suspension could be considered if the concerned members express regret for what was done in the House during the last session.
“It is human to err and it is also human to make amends. One cannot refuse to amend and insist on glossing over the wrong doings. Suspensions, either in the past or now, are only the expression of disapproval of the acts of misconduct of some members by the House. Disapproval of undemocratic conduct in the House can’t be decried as undemocratic, for sure. It is for this House to take a view on its earlier decision of suspension of members. It is for all the concerned to take it forward. I urge both the sides of this august House to talk it out and let the House do its mandated job,” Naidu added.