As Bharat Ratna and Rajya Sabha MP Sachin Tendulkar rose to speak in the House, Congress members disrupted the proceedings, demanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi to clarify on his remarks against former prime minister Manmohan Singh during the Gujarat poll campaign.
The former batsmen and India’s captain had moved a Short Discussion Motion on the future of sports in the country and right to play. His maiden speech in the House was, however, marred with the Congress stalling the session for the fifth consecutive day.
Amid the Opposition sloganeering, Tendulkar remained standing for close to 10 minutes. As his appeals for order went unheard, Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu reportedly said: “We’re discussing about sports and you don’t have the sporting spirit.”
Rajya Sabha MP Jaya Bachchan, speaking to reporters outside the Parliament, said it was a matter of shame that Tendulkar was not allowed to speak.
“He (Sachin) has earned name for India at the world stage, it is a matter of shame that he was not allowed to speak even when everyone knew it was on today’s agenda. Are only politicians allowed to speak?” Jaya Bachchan said.
While Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the Congress had behaved in an “undemocratic manner”.
“The Congress today behaved in an undemocratic manner in the Upper House by disrupting Bharat Ratna Sachin Tendulkar from speaking on the important and non-political issue of sports and its development in the country,” he told reporters.
“Despite repeated requests from the Chairman of the House that he (Tendulkar) should be allowed to speak on this important and public interest issue, the Congress did not allow him to speak. After disrupting the Lok Sabha for several days, today they are participating in the discussion on supplementary demand for the grants. But in the Rajya Sabha, they are continuing to disrupt the proceedings,” the minister said, adding that the party was “totally confused”
Tendulkar last appeared in the Parliament in August this year, two days after Samajwadi Party MP Naresh Agarwal had raised the issue of absenteeism among the nominated lawmakers in the Rajya Sabha and criticised the former cricketer and Bollywood actor Rekha.