Govt, Oppn meet as Rajya Sabha logjam ends

  • Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Dec 09, 2014 01:48 IST

Normalcy returned to Parliament on Monday after the Opposition climbed down on its demand for a censure motion against the use of derogatory language by ministers even as the government settled for an appeal from the Rajya Sabha chairman for “maintaining civility in public discourse.”

In his observation to the Upper House, chairman Hamid Ansari “acknowledged” the PM’s statement last week and appealed to “all MPs, ministers and leaders of all political parties to maintain civility at all costs in public discourse for the successful functioning of parliamentary democracy” and to “uphold commitment to constitutional values.”

Ending the week-long impasse, Rajya Sabha passed two bills including the textile legislation to replace an ordinance.

Trinamool’s Derek O’Brian told HT, “This is the first time that the BJP felt the pressure of the Opposition.”

Sources said that Congress managers buckled down under pressure as a rift was imminent in the Opposition camp: SP, JD(U) and NCP had communicated that they could be a party to a prolonged disruption.

A section of the Opposition was also wary about upping its ante against the minister, a rural woman of a backward community, even after she tendered an apology in the House.

On Monday, senior ministers like Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Naidu, Ravi Shankar Prasad huddled when Congress’ crisis manager Rajiv Shukla came in. “Kuchh kar lijiye. Something needs to be done,” Shukla told ministers.

While a section of the BJP was in not in favour of even an observation by the Chair, Jaitley, minister of state for parliamentary affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and some others favoured a “face-saver” for the Opposition.

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