Derek O’Brien, TrinamooL, Rajya Sabha, discusses with Abantika Ghosh the issue of live telecast of House proceedings
What was your point of order?
At 2.13 pm [Thursday] while there was disruption in the House when Mr Sachin Tendulkar rose to speak on a short duration discussion, the chairman said: “I don’t want these sorts of scenes to be telecast around the country.” Subsequently, Rajya Sabha TV blacked out. With all due respect to the chair, whose decision is final and binding, this is a part of democracy. This is how some colleagues in the Opposition choose to express themselves. I requested the chair not to black out RSTV.
Has something like this happened before?
I don’t know if this is the first time.
Some would argue this is to preserve the dignity of the House.
People of this country are entitled to know the particulars of every public transaction in all its bearings. To cover this with a veil of secrecy would not be in the interest of the public. Let people watch and come to their own conclusions. “Disruption is also a parliamentary tactic.” These are not my words but the words of the former Leader of the Opposition who is now leader of the House.
How does your party feel about the disruptions?
It is not about what I feel or my party feels. The issue is that it should be shown in the official channel. We do believe that Parliament is a place to debate, discuss and legislate but occasionally if these tactics have to be used by an Opposition party, they have to be used.
Do you think Parliament will function normally from Wednesday?
I am not a meteorologist nor am I a weather vane but I do know that this government is on the defensive. So, when it comes to issues like Aadhaar, the economy, the mess after demonetisation and GST and their underperformance, across parameters, we will eat them for Christmas pudding if they want to debate inside Parliament.
PRIME MINISTER: Absent
SONIA GANDHI: Absent
RAHUL GANDHI: Absent