Ansari’s decision on SP blows up - and blows over

March 5th, 2008 - 3:41 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 5 (IANS) Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari’s decision to refer some Samajwadi Party (SP) MPs to the privileges committee for disrupting the house led to repeated adjournments Wednesday. But tempers cooled when Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi intervened to arrange a meeting of party leaders. SP members had come prepared Wednesday to take up the issue and began shouting slogans, leading to three adjournments during question hour. They said they had been singled out and this affected their honour as members of the house.

Dasmunsi then intervened and hastily arranged a meeting of party leaders at which Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader and party president Sharad Yadav justified the behaviour of the SP members.

When the house reassembled at 12 noon, Dasmunsi rose to defend the honour of all members. He told the chairman: “I respect your ruling and we are always bound by your ruling. But I again say that I am with all the honourable members and I am here to defend the honour of each and every member.

“I hope you shall find some time this evening and I will cooperate to defend the honour of all the members,” the minister added.

SP general secretary Amar Singh eventually buried the hatchet saying that members “when they are in the opposition resort to agitations” like stalling the house proceedings.

While appreciating Dasmunsi’s intervention, he also thanked other leaders, particularly Sharad Yadav.

He said: “Sharad Yadav has pointed out in the meeting that when we don’t get an opportunity to articulate our grievances about the problems facing the country such incidents do take place. That does not mean any of us is any the less respectful of the house or the chair than anyone else.

“I am thankful that our grievances will be addressed in the evening meeting,” Amar Singh added.

Ansari had referred to the privileges committee a complaint by Congress MP Santosh Bargodia that his privilege as a member was denied when he was not allowed to ask listed questions because of disruptions.

Some other members including former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee and Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi had endorsed Bargodia’s plea.

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