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High drama in Rajya Sabha as quota bill moved

December 13, 2012 17:02 IST

Rajya Sabha on Thursday witnessed high drama when two Samajwadi Party members were directed to leave the House for causing disruptions over a quota bill, leading to arguments and counter-arguments before all members of the party walked out.

Trouble started just before the Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill, 2012 was moved by Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy for consideration and passing, for the third time in the last four days.

Drama continued for about an hour, during which the House was adjourned thrice for brief periods, before SP members staged a walk-out, leading to restoration of normalcy.

Earlier, when Narayanasamy rose to move the bill, seven of the nine members of SP trooped into the Well. They shouted slogans against the proposed legislation.

Agitated over this, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien asked the members to resume their seats, with a warning that he would take action against them if they continued to protest.

As slogan-shouting continued, Kurien named SP member Arvind Kumar Singh for disobeying the Chair by invoking Rule 255 and asked him to leave the House.

Singh, however, refused to leave and continued shouting slogans. At this, Kurien adjourned the House for 10 minutes

When the House re-assembled, similar situation persisted, prompting Kurien to issue repeated warnings to the member to leave or he would be evicted with the use of marshals.

As Singh refused to relent, the Chair asked SP leader in the House Ram Gopal Yadav to persuade the member to leave.

Yadav, however, argued that if the Chair wanted to expel all the SP members, it should take the "sense of the House" on it. "If there is sense of House, then we have no objection. We will leave the House," he said.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said the member, who has been named, should first withdraw before any other thing can be considered.

SP member Naresh Agrawal said the SP members were defying Rule 255, under which the Chair can direct any member to withdraw from the House for rest of the day, and so Kurien should invoke Rule 256 under which members can be suspended.

Kurien expressed surprise at this argument, terming it as "strange" request for "greater punishment" and insisted that the named member should leave first. Nath agreed with him.

At this, Yadav asked Singh to withdraw and the House was adjourned for 15 minutes.

When it re-assembled, other SP members continued slogan-shouting, prompting Nath to say that the Chair had taken the right decision of naming one member and he should name others if this continues.

"If this continues, all members should be asked to leave," he said.

Kurien again pleaded with protesting members to resume their seats with a warning of action.

"Do you want me to ask you to leave? Don't make me do this. You are my friends. I will invoke again Rule 255. I am going to do this," he said, and then named another member Choudhry Munabbar Saleem and asked him to withdraw.

He threatened that if the member does not leave on his own, marshals would be called to oust him. At this, members of BJP and Left were on their feet, protesting against any use of marshals."I understand the feelings of members, I will not act against your feelings and concerns. But enforcing rules is responsibility not only of the Chair but of members also.

"I invoked rule, he must withdraw immediately. If he doesn't withdraw, I will have to call marshals. I have to enforce rules," Kurien contended.

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