12 Opposition parties give notice of no-confidence against Rajya Sabha deputy chairman

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New Delhi: Twelve Opposition parties Sunday gave a notice for a no-confidence motion against Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh over the manner in which two farm Bills were passed in the Upper House after he overruled their pleas for an adjournment of the proceedings.

The BJP is also considering moving a motion for stringent action against several opposition MPs, who are accused of unruly behaviour in the House during the passage of two farm bills.

Sources said the Rajya Sabha TV footage was also being viewed to ascertain what transpired during the passage of the bills and which MPs indulged in violence.

The Rajya Sabha passed the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020, through voice vote amid the din caused by opposition protests.

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The Opposition parties that have submitted the notice include the Congress, All India Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party, Telangana Rashtra Samithi, CPI, CPM, Nationalist Congress Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, DMK, Aam Aadmi Party, IUML and Kerala Congress (Mani).

Congress leader Ahmed Patel said 12 parties have given a notice of no-confidence against the deputy chairman, as the manner in which the Bills were passed is a murder of democracy.

“Our demand for adjourning the House and division of votes was disallowed, he said. “We gave a no-confidence against the attitude of Deputy Chairman and the manner in which the Bills were passed.”

The government flayed the opposition for “unruly conduct” of their members in Rajya Sabha during the passage of the two farm bills, condemning their behaviour as “extremely shameful” and unprecedented in Parliament’s history.

Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Prakash Javadekar, Pralhad Joshi, Piyush Goyal, Thawarchand Gehlot and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi held a press conference to hit out at opposition members, with Singh asserting that such conduct was not expected in a healthy democracy.

Asked about Opposition parties giving a notice for a no-confidence motion against Harivansh over the manner in which the two farm bills were passed, Singh said the Chairman will take a decision on it.

JD(U) leader Harivansh was reelected as the Deputy Chairman of the Upper House on September 14, the first day of the ongoing Monsoon Session.

Patel said the Deputy Chairman should have safeguarded democratic traditions but harmed them instead.

The protesting members sat in Rajya Sabha after the House was adjourned following the passage of the Bills.

TMC MP Derek O’Brien also accused the government of “murdering” the Parliamentary system and democracy.

“The government did not allow the Opposition a vote on the farmers’ bills. It is a sad day for the parliamentary democracy,” he said.

The TMC MP alleged that the government knew that it did not have the numbers and that is why they did not allow a division of votes.

“Today, the BJP tried to break the back of yet another great institution of our democracy: Parliament. The basic rights of MPs guaranteed by the Constitution are snatched. No vote allowed in RS on farmers bills. Today’s day will be written in black letters,” he said.

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