Concerned over the impasse in Rajya Sabha over Union Minister Niranjan Jyoti’s remarks, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien on Friday directed the leaders of opposition parties and the government to sit together and hammer out a solution by Monday.
Kurien adjourned the House for the day at about 3.15 PM after it failed to transact any business for the fourth consecutive day today with an agitated opposition insisting on the sacking of the Minister.
“Leaders of the opposition parties and government should sit together and work out a solution by Monday. The Chair cannot take a decision,” Kurien, who was in the Chair, observed.
His observations came after the House witnessed four adjournments before the Chair called it a day as opposition uproar continued over the demand and members insisted on a resolution to condemn the Sadhvi’s remarks.
“There is an impasse between the government and the opposition and as long as this issue is not resolved we will not allow the House to run,” said Deputy Leader of Opposition Anand Sharma when Kurien pleaded that private members’ bill be taken up.
The Congress member charged the government with forcing a stalemate in the House. Kurien said he did not find any use in furthering the discussion before adjourning the House.
With a black band around his mouth, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi also joined other opposition leaders in a protest at Parliament against the abusive comments made by Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti.
Earlier, when the House met after lunch members trooped into the Well demanding sacking of the Union Minister, forcing the Chair to adjourn it within barely 10 minutes of sitting.
Satyavrat Chaturvedi (Cong) contended, “Expression of the Prime Minister’s speech is almost identical to the resolution, we are making. What is the problem for the government?”
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the issue should be “closed” as the Prime Minister himself has “strongly disapproved” of the remarks in the House.
The Minister concerned too was in the House and had apologised, he said adding that senior Ministers Arun Jaitleyand Venkiah Naidu had also disapproved of it in the House.
Seeking truce with agitating opposition members over controversial remarks made by Minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the matter should be put to rest after her apology, but it failed to satisfy them.
Making a statement in the Lok Sabha, he emphasised that everyone should understand limits in public discourse.
“… it is our duty that we understand our limits in public life and stay within our limits while making public discourse.
“Now we should allow the matter to rest and we should continue with our work in national interest,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister’s statement, however, failed to mollify the opposition members, including Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, who had tied black cloth on their mouth, as they staged a walkout.
Stating that the Rajya Sabha has not been functioning for some time now, Modi said, “I am grateful to all members of the Lok Sabha that they allowed the House to function despite the sensitivity of the issue.”
After Modi’s statement, Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge said the opposition wanted to know why such a thing happened.
“We are not against any individual” nor their background but the issue is that many BJP leaders have been making controversial statements, he said.
Such statements are creating a situation in the country where social unity is threatened, he said and wanted to know what action government is taking in this regard.
While opposition members continued to agitate after the Prime Minister’s statement, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said the protests have to stop.
E Ahamed (IUML) was heard saying that the government was not listening to the opposition. Soon, members from Congress, Left parties, IUML, BSP and AAP staged a walk out.
Meanwhile, BSP supremo Mayawati on Friday slammed BJP for playing the “dalit card” to defend Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti over her controversial remarks and claimed she did not belong to the community .
“BJP is saying that she is a dalit woman and this is untrue. Playing dalit card in not right. The minister neither belongs to the dalit community nor does she hail from scheduled caste community. She is from the backward Nishad caste.
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