THE Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Monday moved a privilege motion against Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh and Renuka Chowdhury in the Rajya Sabha for allegedly misbehaving with party MP and Union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
The alleged spat between Harsimrat and the two Congress leaders took place after the House was adjourned on Friday afternoon due to a ruckus over AAP MP Bhagwant Mann’s controversial filming of Parliament House.
Raising the issue on Monday, SAD member Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa demanded that the two Congress leaders apologise for their behaviour or face a privilege motion. A minister has the right to speak in any House, and the permission for this was strictly between the Chair and the minister, he said.
Congress leader Anand Sharma said that while the minister has every right to speak in either House of Parliament on a Bill or a discussion, the issue pertained to whether a minister who is not a member of the Rajya Sabha could raise an issue during Zero Hour.
“Can a minister who is not a member of this House have the same privileges as other members of the House,” and that too “about a person who is a member of the other House,” he asked. According to Ramesh, there was no altercation outside the House and Harsimrat was only told that she was a minister and was supposed to behave with dignity. Ramesh claimed that the ruckus by the treasury benches was a deliberate attempt to scuttle a private member’s Bill seeking implementation of a special package for Andhra Pradesh.
Chowdhury asked if a precedence was being set by taking cognisance of issues that happened after the House was adjourned. She alleged that it was a “pre-meditated conspiracy” to scuttle the crucial private member’s Bill.