Winter Session: From the chair

Published:December 6, 2014 3:28 am

SPEAKER OF THE DAY

Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha

The PM must know that we are not protesting against anyone’s background, neither are we creating an environment of protest keeping someone’s background in mind. Many members from the ruling side have been making the kind of statements which have created an environment in the country that poses a threat to the unity of the society. – In response to PM Narendra Modi’s statement on the Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti controversy

INTERJECTION

… A Dalit woman came here, expressed her regrets, sought forgiveness. Even after that, arrogance and anarchy that is on display… the way they are stalling House proceedings… there are issues that concern the country, issues of development…

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, MoS for Parliamentary Affairs  in Rajya Sabha

WATCHING

Prime Minister

Present in Lok Sabha; urged opposition parties to accept Niranjan Jyoti’s apology. During Question Hour, informed Lok Sabha that he had convened a meeting of Chief Ministers on Sunday for their views on restructuring of Planning Commission.

Rahul Gandhi

Present; joined opposition members who covered their mouths with black cloths to protest against Niranjan Jyoti’s remark. Sat in Lok Sabha with mouth covered with black band.

Sonia Gandhi

Not present; in Rae Bareli

Manmohan Singh

Present; was seen talking to SAD leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal

DEBATE

For the fourth consecutive day, Opposition parties created an uproar and disrupted proceedings in the Rajya Sabha, demanding action against MoS Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti over her “ramzaadon” versus “haramzaadon” remark, forcing several adjournments. Opposition also demanded a resolution to condemn hate speeches, which the government rejected. The Opposition then created an uproar over the government introducing two legislative Bills on a Friday evening and extending the working hours till 6 pm. In Lok Sabha PM Narendra Modi made a fresh appeal to parties over Jyoti’s remark, but failed to break the deadlock. The Opposition then staged a walkout.

# Five question to Bhartruhari Mahtab (BJD) on why his party, despite being in the Opposition, is not part of the protest against Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti

1. Why is the BJD not part of the protest?

We believe that after a responsible person has made an apology inside the House, the matter should end there. I have told some members of the Congress and the TMC that. But it is their decision. We don’t want to be a part of it. She (Jyoti) should not have said what she said. But after she begged for an apology, our culture teaches us to forget and forgive.

2. There is an allegation that the BJD is soft on the BJP government.

The Congress is yet to move any amendment to any of the Bills which have been passed. The BJD has moved amendments and demanded division, which the Congress is yet to do. For instance, if the Congress was opposed to the manner in which the CBI director can be selected if a member is absent, then they should have move amendments and sought a division. Although they voted with us, their number was quite less.

3. The opposition sees a pattern behind such statements. Is it not a matter of concern for the BJD?

When you say opposition, it is the Trinamool Congress, Congress and the Left. The YSR Congress is also in the opposition. There are other parties like the TRS…. Their members did not walk out…. Aren’t there other issues to pin down the ruling dispensation?

4. So will the BJD continue to maintain an equal distance from the government and the rest of the opposition? For instance, there is a legislative agenda of the government, including key bills like the Insurance Bill.

We had supported the Insurance bill in Lok Sabha. When it went to a select committee, we took a position that let us wait and see what is the report of the select committee. Then we will decide.

5. What about other bills?

We will see it on a case to case basis. We are not a supporter of this government. We are not cheerleaders of the NDA.

 

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