Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari sought suggestions from political parties on Thursday for a new rule in the Upper House to automatically suspend disruptive members.
Ansari’s proposal, that took many leaders by surprise, came amid the House being held hostage to continuous disruptions since last week.
Towards the end of the multi-party Business Advisory Committee of the Upper House, the panel which decides its weekly agenda, Ansari raked up the disruption issue and spoke about the “perception” that there is no discipline in Rajya Sabha.
He also added that the Chairman does not have the same power as of the Lok Sabha to deal with disruptions in the House. “In Rajya Sabha, no member can be automatically suspended. I have to take the permission of the House to suspend any member,” he said.
In the BAC meeting, Ansari told party leaders to submit their suggestions to be taken up by the General Purpose Committee and the House Rules Committee to consider a new provision on the lines of the Lok Sabha’s rule 374 A.
Rule 374 A was invoked by LS speaker Sumitra Mahajan in the last session to suspend 25 Congress MPs for five days.
DMK MP Kanimozhi tried to argue that sometimes MPs have to protest for valid reasons. Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “Earlier, leader of Opposition had said disruption is a valid democratic tool.”