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Sunday, Dec 08, 2019

Notices for discussion to lapse if House stalled: RS chair to MPs

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu’s comments came a day after the Opposition created an uproar in the Rajya Sabha and forced adjournment after the Chair refused to permit a discussion on issues of electoral bonds and disinvestment of state-owned companies.

india Updated: Nov 23, 2019 01:29 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said that notices given by members for raising issues of public importance during the Zero Hour would lapse if protests forced the adjournment of the House.
Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said that notices given by members for raising issues of public importance during the Zero Hour would lapse if protests forced the adjournment of the House.(PTI Photo)
         

Seeking to smoothen the functioning of the Upper House, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said that notices given by members for raising issues of public importance during the Zero Hour would lapse if protests forced the adjournment of the House.

His comments came a day after the Opposition created an uproar in the Rajya Sabha and forced adjournment after the Chair refused to permit a discussion on issues of electoral bonds and disinvestment of state-owned companies.

The Opposition, led by the Congress, on Friday gave notices on the second consecutive day to suspend business of the house and allow a discussion on electoral bonds.

Congress MP Anand Sharma said members sought discussion invoking Rule 267 only if an issue was of a serious nature. He urged the Chair to suspend business and ask the government to make a full disclosure on the issue of electoral bonds.

Naidu said he had examined the issue but did not find it significant enough for him to suspend business. He said he received four to five notices every alternate day and it was not possible to set business aside every time.

“I am convinced about the necessity to discuss the issue (electoral bonds). But I am not convinced about the sudden necessity to discuss it. It can be taken up in a different form,” he said.

Naidu said some members believe that if their notices are not taken up for discussion on a particular day, it will automatically happen the next day. He also said he would name the members who defy the chair, adding that it was the prerogative of the Chair to allow a discussion.

“Some people have developed a habit of disturbing the House while making their point and insisting it beyond a point and thereby stalling the House for a variety of reasons. Then the Chairman adjourns the House because I don’t want ugly scenes to be seen by the people,” Naidu said.

The Chairman also flagged concerns about letters that other members wrote him being leaked in the media even before he had received them. He said such pressure tactics would not work.

He reminded the members that it was the 250th session of the House and they should contribute towards its smooth running.

Meanwhile, several Congress leaders including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Manish Tewari and Shashi Tharoor protested against the government outside the two houses on the issue of electoral bonds.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala claimed the government had forced SBI to accept expired electoral bonds sold in illegal window. “Is this a government or a factory of lies?” he asked.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra took to Twitter seeking answers to several questions on the issue. “A BJP government minister on Thursday parroted a paper in front of the press, but where are the answers to questions. 1. Is it true that the objections of RBI and Election Commission were rejected? 2. It is written in the report that during the Karnataka elections, the Prime Minister allowed the sale of the bond illegally? Is it true? 3. The identity of the donor is confidential -- Has the government lied?” she tweeted in Hindi.

The State Bank of India (SBI) issues electoral bonds for amounts ranging from Rs 1000 to Rs 1 crore which are made available for a period of 10 days each in the months of January, April, July and October, with an additional period of 30 days specified by the central government in the year of general elections.