The Rajya Sabha was again on Tuesday disrupted over the issue of President’s rule in Uttarakhand, with other opposition parties supporting the Congress in its demand for a debate on the issue.
The Congress, supported by the Left, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), demanded an immediate discussion on the issue.
Congress leader Anand Sharma cited the rules and said a debate can be taken up even if the matter is sub judice.
Sharma said his party wanted to “discuss and pass a resolution on developments in the inter-session period in Uttarakhand where the democratically elected government has been destabilised by the central government”.
“If the house agrees there can be a debate,” he said.
He was supported by SP leader Naresh Agrawal and BSP leader Mayawati.
“When the BJP and company was in opposition and Congress party and company in power, the article (356 on President’s Rule) was misused even then. Now that they (BJP) are in power, they are also not using the article in the right manner … This article has been politicised, and misused. So we want a debate on it,” BSP leader Mayawati said urging the chair to allow a debate.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi wanted to know if the Congress wanted a discussion on the issue or just to disrupt the house.
Leader of House Arun Jaitley, however, said there can be no debate before the proclamation of the relevant court order comes out. While the Supreme Court is to further take up the matter on April 27, the high court-ordered floor test in the Uttarakhand assembly is scheduled for April 29.
“Yesterday also members had demanded discussion under rule 267 (for suspension of business to discuss and pass a resolution),” Jaitley said.
“As far as Article 356 and Uttarakhand is concerned we also have a lot to say. It has never happened in 68 years of independence that presiding officers convert minority into majority and vice versa. This is the real breakdown of the constitutional machinery,” Jaitley said.
“…35 out of 67 members give in writing we have voted against the (finance) bill and the presiding officer (Uttarakhand speaker) says minority is majority — and this is the breakdown of constitutional machinery. If there is a discussion, we will certainly participate, but the discussion will take place when the proclamation is before the house… There is no procedure for having a pre-proclamation discussion on Article 356,” he said.
Congress members then trooped near the chairman’s podium shouting slogans following which the house was adjourned till noon.
The scene was the same when the house met again at noon for Question Hour and an angry Chairman M. Hamid Ansari first adjourned the house till 12.35 p.m. and then till 2 p.m.