Despite no disruption, Venkaiah Naidu adjourns Rajya Sabha


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Despite no disruption, Venkaiah Naidu adjourns Rajya Sabha

Neither House of Parliament has functioned since the Budget session resumed on March 5. While Opposition parties such as Congress, Trinamool Congress have been agitating over the PNB scam, the most vocal so far has been NDA ally TDP on the special status issue.

There was no member in the well and no sight of placards or protests. Yet, Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu adjourned the House within minutes after it convened on Friday morning. In an unusual departure from norm since the Budget session reconvened after recess, the House listened in rapt attention as Naidu criticised members for their unruly behaviour. But when Congress MP Satyavrat Chaturvedi asked if this was the first time in Naidu’s political life that he had seen such behaviour, the chairman lost his cool and adjourned the House.

Addressing the House to start proceedings, Naidu said that he was “very much pained” that Rajya Sabha has “not been able to transact business for the last two weeks”.

“Please have some patience. Don’t test my patience also. Don’t test people’s patience. People are getting disillusioned, distressed that we are meeting, we are greeting, not doing anything, then disturbing and then getting adjourned,” he said. Naidu then referred to the notices submitted by MPs — banking scam, market sealing drive in Delhi, Cauvery issue and Andhra Pradesh’s special status — as matters that needed to be raised, and which he had himself allowed to be raised, but could not be taken up because of disruptions.

Neither House of Parliament has functioned since the Budget session resumed on March 5. While Opposition parties such as Congress, Trinamool Congress have been agitating over the PNB scam, the most vocal so far has been TDP on the special status issue. On Wednesday, the Finance Bill was passed amid protests in the Lok Sabha with the government resorting to a rarely used parliamentary procedure called “guillotine” to avoid discussions.

On Friday, Naidu said, “You cannot dictate something and say, ‘Either you go my way or highway’. That is no way, I must tell you. I am very sorry, I cannot allow this sort of thing. If the House is going to function, fine… Why PNB alone, all banking scams, if any, in the country, involving any bank should be discussed.”

Speaking after Naidu had stopped, Chaturvedi said there was no room for disagreement on what the chairman had said and that the matters mentioned deserved the attention of the House. “I agree, but would like to know whether this is the first time in your political and Parliamentary career that you have seen something like this happening?” he asked. The reference to similar scenes in the Upper House during the UPA regime, when BJP MPs led the disruptions, failed to move Naidu. “Because somebody had committed some mistake, I also commit… You want this sort of thing to continue. That is your suggestion…That is your party’s view,” said Naidu.

When Chaturvedi argued that the House had in the past not run for a whole month, Naidu took objection to “people standing and speaking”. Then, he adjourned the House, saying nothing would go on record.

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