Updated: November 29, 2021 4:40:39 pm
Amid indications that the Union government may push for the suspension of some of the Opposition members over the acrimonious scenes that were witnessed during the passage of the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill in the last session, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday in his opening address touched upon the issue saying the “bitter and unpleasant experiences” of the last monsoon session “still continue to haunt most of us.”
Naidu said “the treasury benches wanted a detailed enquiry into the conduct of some members during the final two days of the last turbulent session” and added that he had tried to reach out to the leaders of various parties.
“Some of them made it clear that their members would not be a party to any such enquiry. Some leaders however, expressed concern over the way the functioning of the House was derailed during the last session and condemned the unruly incidents. On my part, I was expecting and waiting for the leading lights of this august House to take lead in expressing their outrage over what had happened during the last session with assurances of introspection and spirited efforts to prevent recurrence of such incidents. Such assurances by all concerned would have helped me to appropriately handle the matter. But unfortunately, it was not to be,” he said.
He was referring to the unruly scenes which the House had witnessed on August 11 during the passage of the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill.
After the unruly scenes, the opposition parties had then alleged that “outsiders” who were not part of “Parliament security” were brought into the House to “manhandle” MPs, including women members, during the passage of the Bill, and had argued that what had happened in the House was “unprecedented” and was akin to “martial law” being imposed in Parliament.
On the other hand, several Union ministers had met Naidu then and demanded action against some of the Opposition MPs for what they called unprecedented, extreme and violent acts in the House.
According to sources, Naidu wanted to set up a committee to investigate the untoward incidents that had taken place. But the Congress and other Opposition parties decided not to be part of the inquiry committee.
In September, Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge wrote to Naidu saying the constitution of the committee seems to be “designed” to “intimidate” MPs into silence.
Today, Naidu said: “The bitter and unpleasant experiences of the last monsoon session still continue to haunt most of us”.
“Around 70 per cent of the valuable time of this august House was lost due to disruptions and incidents of unruly conduct of some members during the last forgettable session at the end of which there were no winners. All the sections of this august House ended up as losers and so was the country,” he said.
“Should we not draw the right lessons from such unpleasant experiences that entail huge costs to the democracy besides leaving a bitter pill in the mouths of the people of our country who have pinned high hopes on the legislatures and their chosen representatives? I leave it to your wisdom as this august House was conceived as an assembly of wise men who would let the heat and passions of the moment pass by before making the laws in a calm and serene atmosphere,” he said.
Sources said the government still wants some of the Opposition members suspended for the ruckus and may push for it in the House.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.