Ansari asks member to withdraw from the house

April 24th, 2008 - 3:40 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) Rajya Sabha chairman Mohammad Hamid Ansari created history of sorts Thursday when he asked a member to “withdraw” from the house for persistent defiance. AIADMK leader V. Maitreyan immediately left the house and had to withdraw for the day.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who attends the Question Hour proceedings of the house every Thursday, was present when the trouble began at 11 a.m. at start of session.

Maitreyan again raised the issue of Shipping and Transport Minister T.R. Baalu using his position to seek gas from a company run by his family members. The MP had raised the issue Wednesday as well when Baalu was present in the house. He had replied to the allegations.

On Thursday, in Baalu’s presence, Maitreyan said: “Since the prime minister is in the house he should reply about what he has to say about the irregularity committed by his minister.”

Ansari reminded Maitreyan that he had been allowed to raise the issue and had got a reply from the minister and then said: “Please resume your seat and allow the Question Hour to proceed.”

Meanwhile, Baalu’s DMK party colleagues were also up protesting against Maitreyan.

The chairman again requested him resume his seat. When Maitreyan did not listen, Ansari repeated his assertion that the Question Hour should be allowed to proceed.

Maitreyan remained unperturbed and continued with his tirade, much of which was inaudible since nothing was going on record.

Ansari then asked for the Rule Book and announced: “I am invoking Rule 255 of the Rajya Sabha rules and asking the member to withdraw from the Council of States.”

Maitreyan left instantly.

According to Rajya Sabha officials, Rule 255 states that the concerned member has to withdraw from the house the moment the chair invokes the rule. The member has to stay away from the proceedings of the house for that day.

Officials could not recall the last time the rule was invoked. “At least not during the entire tenure of (Ansari’s predecessor Bhairon Singh) Shekhawat),” said one.

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