RS Chair adjourns House over Oppn demand to debate Maharashtra government
Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day on Monday after the Opposition demanded suspension of business to take up the issue of government formation in Maharashtra. Chairman Rajya Sabha, M Venkaiah Naidu, declined to allow the notices for suspension of business, citing rules that an issue that is subjudice cannot be taken up for discussion on the floor of the house and there needs to be a substantive motion to discuss the functioning of a higher authority.
As soon as the House convened for business, Opposition parties demanded a discussion on the events in Maharashtra, where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Devendra Fadnavis and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)’s Ajit Pawar were sworn in as chief minister and deputy chief minister on Saturday morning. A combine of the Congress, NCP and the Shiv Sena MLAs have legally challenged the move, claiming the BJP does not have the numbers to form government. The Supreme Court heard the petition on Monday, and reserved judgment till Tuesday.
Naidu said a discussion on President’s rule being imposed or revoked in a state can take place only when a proclamation to that effect is brought before it.
As per a ruling given by the Rajya Sabha chairman on April 24, 1989, the role of the governor in relation to a proclamation issued by the president under Article 356 can only be discussed when such a proclamation is laid before the House and becomes its property, he added.
Deputy chairperson, Harivansh, later told the House that in the case of Maharashtra, the proclamation in question is still to be laid on the table of the House.
Reacting to the Opposition’s demand, union minister and BJP leader, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, said the Congress, Shiv Sena and NCP combine were trying to “hijack” democracy in Maharashtra through “jugad”.
“[NCP leader] Sharad Pawar is trying to run on a slippery pitch. The chances of being run out are higher on such a pitch,” he said.