After a week-long impasse, Rajya Sabha on Monday resumed normal functioning after Minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti was virtually censured by Chairman Hamid Ansari for her controversial remarks and a compromise reached in back-channel talks.
Ansari, without naming Jyoti, said that everyone, including ministers, should maintain civility in public discourse at all costs.
“This House, while acknowledging the statement of Prime Minister, made in this House on the December 4, appeals to all members of the Parliament, ministers and leaders of all political parties to maintain civility at all costs in public discourse for the successful functioning of Parliamentary democracy and to uphold our commitment to constitutional values,” the Chairman said reading out from a prepared text.
After the Chairman’s statement, the House went ahead with the scheduled business, leading to hopes in the government about passage of key reforms bills.
Proceedings of the House had been washed out the entire last week as a united opposition kept demanding resignation or sacking of Jyoti.
The breakthrough was reached at a meeting called by Ansari around noon today of government and opposition leaders after the House again saw uproar and four adjournments over the demand for Jyoti’s sacking.
From the opposition side, the meeting was attended by leaders of nine parties — Congress, Samajwadi Party, Trinamool Congress, Janata Dal (United), BSP, CPI, CPI(M), DMK and NCP — which have been pressing for a joint resolution condeming the remarks.
The statement, read out by Ansari, was prepared at this meeting after tough negotiations, sources said. The government wanted the word ‘acknowledging’ in the statement to be replaced by ‘endorsing’ or even ‘appreciating’ but the opposition rejected this, they said.