The Chairman of Rajya Sabha M Venkaiah Naidu today said that he was duty-bound to uphold the dignity of the rules, standards and values of the Upper House although the suspension of members was not a pleasant thing to do. The Rules of the House do provide for such suspension when it becomes inevitable, he pointed out.
In his concluding remarks before Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die, eight days ahead of the schedule, Naidu said while it was the right of the opposition to protest, but the question is how should it be done?
Pointing out that the floor of the august House was the most effective platform for the contestation of ideas, he said that if a boycott is done for a longer period, it amounts to leaving the very platform that enables members to effectively convey their ideas, besides contesting those of others.
Referring to the letter he had received from the Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad and others urging the House not to pass the three labour codes, the Chairman said that there have been a number of precedents when the business was taken up as per schedule and bills were approved in the wake of boycott or walkout by some members.
In this context, he cited the passage of Finance Bill and Appropriation Bill in 2013. Naidu said that had the letter suggested the postponement of a bill by stating that they would attend the House, he would have discussed the issue with the government. He said that there was no such assurance. On the other hand, some of the members justified what they had done. Therefore he decided to go ahead with the bills, he said.
Observing that though the session was satisfying in terms of productivity, he said there have been some areas of concern as well. “We need to collectively ponder over these issues for making a difference in future,” he added.