New Delhi: Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday refused to reconsider the suspension of 12 opposition members for “misconduct”, leading to slogan shouting in the House by Opposition members, with Trinamool Congress’ Derek O’Brien leading a walkout of the House in protest.
“I am not considering the appeal of the Leader of Opposition,” Naidu said, and warned slogan-shouting members “Don’t precipitate further action”.
However later, before Question Hour, the Chair said that the Opposition members should “realise what they have done wrong” in the House and watch their behaviour. A meeting can be held and “then we can reconsider it”, he said.
Earlier, LoP Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge appealed to the Chair for reconsideration of the suspension of the 12 members. They were suspended by the Chair for their “unruly and violent behavior” on August 11, on the last day of the last session.
“We came to your office to request for revocation of the suspension of 12 MPs. The incident happened in the last Monsoon Session. So, how can you take this decision now,” Kharge asked, but the Chair refused to listen.
While Zero Hour was on, Trinamool member Derek O’Brien and Opposition members staged a walk out over the Chair refusing to revoke the suspension.
During the Zero Hour, Chair Venkaiah Naidu termed the “misconduct” of the suspended members on August 11 as an “act of sacrilege”.
“It was an act of sacrilege. There are no words to condemn such acts of sacrilege on the temple of democracy,” Naidu said.
He said there can be differences of opinion, and members can walk out, but such acts of “misconduct”, where members sat on the table etc cannot be allowed.
He said there were continuous disruptions during the session on August 11.
“I am deeply anguished, the nation is also deeply anguished at the act of sacrilege on the temple of democracy.”
“I have a sacred duty to see that the House is run, I am answerable to the people,” he said.
He said the media says that “bills are passed in the din”. “You (members) create the din, and the names that are called out of members, they refuse to speak. If members refuse to speak, is it possible to force anyone to speak. It is not possible,” he said.
He said that a wrong impression is being given that there was no discussion on the farm bills, and added that three hours and 46 minutes were given. He said the Minister also tried to reply.
“It might not be to the liking of some people, you can give forth your point of view and protest, and then go to the people. But first you place it here, and then go to the people,” he said, adding that the opposition members were instead going to the TV cameras to give their bytes.
He also said that “93 per cent” of the members want the House to run, “but they are silent, the majority is silent and a handful of people are violent”.
He said it is “happening time and again”.
“I am afraid if we continue this trend, people will lose faith in the parliamentary system. Yes, protest, make your point, and walk out. It is their right to walk out and talk out.”
“If you don’t like the particular government, meet the people and talk to them,” he said, adding that he was not here to defend the government but to see that members do not offend parliament.