The government missed an opportunity Tuesday to scuttle a calling attention motion that would have embarrassed it, with MoS for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi failing to produce a statement when the Rajya Sabha called upon him to do so.
Deputy chairman P J Kurien ruled that the Congress and others could re-submit the notice to “call the attention of the Minister of Home Affairs to the inflammatory speeches made by a minister in the Union government and elected representatives violating the Constitution and oath of office and the response of the government thereto”.
The opportunity for the government had come amid disruption of the Rajya Sabha by AIADMK members, who were demanding action against former UPA minister P Chidambaram over reports about his son Karti’s assets.
As AIADMK members refused to budge from the well and shouted slogans in English and Tamil, Kurien called upon Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad to initiate discussion on the calling attention motion. Azad said he could not do so as the House was not in order.
At this, Kurien called upon Naqvi to table the government statement on the matter. Caught unawares, Naqvi consulted his party colleagues and said: “Statement abhi aya nahin (the statement has not
When the House reconvened after a break, Azad reminded Kurien about the notice moved by him along with Congress colleagues and the CPI’s D Raja. Kurien said since the time for calling attention was over, the notice could be
Naqvi argued the government was not responsible for the fact that the House was not in order. He cited Rule 180 which says that calling attention of one issue can be raised only once during a sitting. Kurien retorted: “You are on the wrong wicket Naqviji. That is why I asked you to circulate the government statement. Had you done so, I would have considered the matter raised. But so far as I am concerned the matter has not been raised and the notice can be repeated. It is for the chairman to take a call.”