Parliament Logjam: Ansari Calls All-Party Meeting


New Delhi; Dec.18:  With logjam in the Upper House leaving key bills in the limbo, Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari has called an all-party meeting on Friday even as the Government said it is ready to extend cooperation but the Chair has to "act" if Opposition members are "hell bent" on disruptions.

In the meeting to be held in Parliament House, the Chairman, who has repeatedly voiced his anguish over frequent disruptions in the House, is expected to urge members of all parties to allow the House to function to transact normal business.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu, meanwhile, said, the Chair should see to it that the House functions properly.

"We have seen it umpteen times. How the Women's Reservation Bill was passed in Rajya Sabha. How the Telangana creation bill was passed in Rajya Sabha. The entire country has seen that," he said.

Asked whether those measures are required again, Mr. Naidu merely said the nation needs measures that preserve democracy and allow debates and discussion and decision.

"The President also said that discuss, debate and then decide. Do not disrupt. He has been saying it continuously. The Chair also has been saying this. But the point is that there has to be somewhere the Chair has to act...If they say we are not allowing this House to function. Then it is bringing bad name to democracy, the country," the Parliamentary Affairs Minister said.

Drawing attention to the difference between functioning of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, he said the one House where the BJP has majority is functioning normally while disruption is the order in the other House where Congress has majority.

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