Our prime duty: RS Chairman calls for orderly proceedings amid logjam

Rajya Sabha Chairman convenes two meetings of floor leaders today to break the logjam in the House

NEW DELHI | Updated: 22 March, 2023 6:47 am IST
Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar (TNI File Photo By Sumit Kumar)

The Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, called a meeting of the floor leaders of different political parties in the Rajya Sabha twice on Tuesday in an attempt to break the logjam in the House over the issues raised by both the ruling and opposition parties.

The second leg of the Budget Session, which resumed on March 13, has almost gone blank with no major and substantial business to date.

“It is our prime duty to run the proceedings of the House in an orderly manner,” the VP told political parties in the meeting. “This is the essence of democracy and the expectation of the people,” he added.

During the one and a half hour-long meeting, Dhankhar highlighted that the House is meant for debate and discussion in a collaborative manner and not for confrontation and deadlock.

The first meeting was held at 11.30 am, in which leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP), Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) were present. However, Floor Leaders from other parties did not attend the meeting.

The Chief Whip of the Congress and the floor leader of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) called on the Chairman Dhankhar separately before the meeting and expressed their inability to attend the meeting convened by him. The Chairman indicated to these two leaders that this would not help the cause of democracy and that his feelings be conveyed to them.

Despite VP Dhankhar’s message, the leaders of Congress, Trinamool Congress, DMK, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Janata Dal-United (JD-U), All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Samajwadi Party (SP), Communist Party of India (CPI), Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) and Assam Gana Parishad (AGP) did not attend the meeting.

Thereafter, the Rajya Sabha Chairman made another appeal to the floor leaders of the parties, who skipped the first meeting, to revisit their decision and attend the second meeting, which was held at 2.30 pm.

The second meeting was attended by Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha, Dr Harivansh, Sharad Pawar (NCP), Dr Keshav Rao (BRS), Tiruchi Siva (DMK), Dr Shantanu Sen (TMC), M Thambidurai (DMK), Sasmit Patra (BJD), GK Vasan (Tamil Maanila Congress), Birendra Prasad Baishya (AGP), Union Minister & Leader of House Piyush Goel, Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Culture Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State for External Affairs & Parliamentary Affairs, V Muraleedharan and Chief Whip of BJP (RS), Laxmikant Bajpai.

The Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day after passing the Jammu and Kashmir Appropriation Bill 2023 and the Appropriation Bill (No. 2) 2023 amid loud sloganeering. The Rajya Sabha was adjourned twice and no significant business was undertaken during the day. Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar and LS Speaker Om Birla announced that there would be no sitting of the Parliament tomorrow on account of Ugadi and other festivals across the country. Both Houses will resume at 11 am on March 23.

Both the Houses faced adjournments on Tuesday as the MPs of the ruling party and the Opposition created a ruckus, raised slogans over Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s speech in the United Kingdom and demanded the Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the Adani issue respectively.

Further, VP and Chairman Rajya Sabha, Dhankhar, have called all floor leaders to engage in further consultation on March 23 at 10 am.

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