Rajya Sabha chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu will take a call on the action that could be taken against the opposition MPs who trooped into the well of the House on Sunday while protesting against the farm bills. According to people aware of the details, the chair has called a meeting with the parliamentary affairs minister to discuss the issue.
While protesting, some MPs broke the microphones on the chairman’s desk; and were seen on camera tearing papers. Some MPs were caught on camera protesting near the chair.
While Derek O’Brien from the TMC was caught waving the rule book at the chair, AAP’s Sanjay Singh was carried out by the marshals later. At least 12 Members of the Opposition later sat in protest in the House, after the proceedings were over; they also moved a no-confidence motion against Rajya Sabha deputy chairperson Harivansh.
BJP MP and national general secretary, Bhupender Yadav critcised the “unruly behaviour” of the opposition members. He said the “chair is competent” to take a decision on what action should be taken.
As per the rules of the House, the decision to ask an MP to leave is taken by the Chairman. Rule 256 provides for suspension of member; it says, “If the Chairman may, if he deems it necessary, name a member who disregards the authority of the Chair or abuses the rules of the Council by persistently and willfully obstructing the business thereof.
Rule 256 (2) says if a member is so named by the Chairman he shall forthwith put the question on a motion being made, no amendment, adjournment or debate being allowed, that the member (naming him) be suspended from the service of the Council for a period not exceeding the remainder of the Session: Provided that the Council may, at any time, on a motion being made, resolve that such suspension be terminated; while 256 (3) says a member suspended under this rule shall forthwith quit the precincts of the Council.
While several MPs complained the audio system was turned off, hampering the live proceedings of the House through the Rajya Sabha TV; there was no clarity on whether the mikes were turned off on the instruction of the chair. “There was a lot of disruption. After the mikes were broken, the sound system was affected, so even inside the House, the members could not hear the proceedings,” said a functionary aware of the details.
Speaking outside Parliament, Prahlad Joshi, the parliamentary affairs minister criticised the behavior of the Opposition. The people of the country have given a mandate to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and “this (ruckus) is an insult of the people’s mandate,” he said. He went on to add, “Opposition has showed height of intolerance in Parliament today. They think of themselves as baadshah (king). We condemn the unruly behaviour of the opposition and we will never budge to such threats,” he said.
Questions were also raised about the propriety of MPs shooting videos inside the House. O’Brien who tweeted a video from inside Parliament, told mediapersons that recordings were made by MPs to put on record the proceedings. He said he did not tear up the rule book and will put out the proof at the right time.
A person familiar with the rules of the house said, the MPs have privileges, but if the chair deems fit, it can seek an explanation. “It is considered unethical, but since this an extra ordinary situation, the MPs may have recorded the visuals for the record. However, since the videos include what was expunged or not allowed to go on record; these cannot be used by the media,” the person said.