The Rajya Sabha passed two farm bills on Sunday as the Upper House witnessed hooliganism by Opposition party members. Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu suspended 8 MPs including TMC’s Derek O Brian and AAP’s Sanjay Singh. The MPs who were suspended for a week for hooliganism in the Upper House of the parliament include Rajeev Satav, KK Ragesh, Ripun Bora, Dola Sen, Syed Nazir Hussain, and Elamaran Karim, apart from Brian and Singh.
“Derek O’Brien, Sanjay Singh, Rajeev Satav, KK Ragesh, Ripun Bora, Dola Sen, Syed Nazir Hussain and Elamaran Karim suspended for one week for unruly behaviour with the Chair,” Venkaiah Naidu said. He ordered Brian to go out of the house.
“It was a bad day for Rajya Sabha yesterday when some members came to the well of the House. Deputy Chairman was physically threatened. He was obstructed from doing his duty. This is unfortunate and condemnable. I suggest to MPs, please do some introspection,” added Naidu.
Yesterday, the opposition members crossed all the limits of parliamentary democracy and started hooliganism as the Modi government was trying to pass two farmer related bills in the upper house. The opposition parties have had a majority in the upper house since the last six years despite the fact that BJP won majority seats in the lower house on its own.
However, as the BJP started winning one state legislative assembly election after another, its number moved up gradually and now it is in a position to get any bill passed in the house.
The opposition parties were demanding a division (which means physical voting- by electronic voting system or ballot) to delay the passing of the farmer bills. The total strength of the house is 243 as 2 seats are vacant. However, a large number of MPs are not attending the house due to age related factors like Dr Manmohan Singh and Covid issues.
From the government’s side, there are 13 MPs who are attending the parliament while from the opposition side, 20 are absent- as per the RS secretariat website. Therefore, the total number of the house is 210 and the government needs a vote of 106 MPs to pass the bill.
Now, BJP alone has 86 members in the house and YSRCP with 6 MPs, JD(U) with 5 MPs stood strongly behind the government on the farm bill issue, which takes the total number to 97. With the help of 12 nominated members- who always vote for the government- the government could easily pass the bills.
Around 1pm on Sunday September 20, the government murdered parliamentary democracy. They broke every rule of #Parliament.
Did they hope that the opposition would just sit and watch?
Here's a 9 min video. pic.twitter.com/HMZbFiSXpo
— Derek O'Brien | ডেরেক ও'ব্রায়েন (@derekobrienmp) September 20, 2020
The government extended the working house of Rajya Sabha (9 to 1) to pass the bills and the opposition did not want the bills to get passed. So, the hooliganism in the house was not about the division or number game (as Brian claimed in an 8 minute video) because everyone knows that BJP now has the numbers to pass any bill in both houses, but due to the frustration of not being able to stall them in the house.
Till now, the opposition used to stall the bills (sent to Department related parliamentary committee, select committee, or Joint parliamentary committee which means delay of 3 to 6 months because committees take this much time to prepare a report) or vote them out (as with land bill during first Lok Sabha), but in the present situation, the last weapon of the opposition is broken. And now, they are showing frustration by physically harassing the Deputy chairman, breaking the mikes and tearing the rule book.