Rajya Sabha Secretary General P C Mody today said “it was incorrect and misleading” to suggest that Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu did not take initiative to resolve the stalemate over the suspension of 12 Opposition members in the just-concluded Winter Session of the House.
In a clarificatory statement on some media reports, Mody said the Chairman was actively engaged in resolving the stalemate over the suspension issue “but there was no progress due to shifting positions of the concerned and perhaps, due to unwillingness to regret the misconduct of suspended Members and lack of agreement among the concerned parties on regretting the incidents that led to the suspension.”
“It is hence, incorrect and misleading on the part of concerned to suggest that the Hon’ble Chairman did not take initiative to resolve the stalemate. Hon’ble Chairman could not have forced any section of the House to take a particular view in the matter of suspension to resolve the stalemate over it even as he consistently engaged himself with both sides of the House to find a way forward for normal functioning of the House upholding its dignity and decorum,” the Rajya Sabha Secretary-General said.
The Chairman, during his conversations with leaders from both sides and on several occasions in the House, urged the two sides to resolve the matter amicably through discussion given the stated positions of both the sides, Mody said.
It was initially proposed to the Chairman that the Leader of the Opposition (LoP) would express regret on behalf of all the 12 suspended Members on the Floor of the House. But subsequently, an issue was raised that what if some parties whose members were among the suspended would disagree with LoP in case he expressed regret on behalf of all the suspended, Mody said.
The Chairman suggested that the best course would be to talk to all concerned parties before expressing regret for the incidents of 11 August that led to the suspension. It was even suggested that if all parties concerned were not on board, regret could be expressed on behalf of the parties willing to do so. But nothing happened thereafter, the Secretary-General said.
Regarding adjournments of the House, the Chairman soon after assuming office in 2017 made it clear that if in his assessment the intention of the protesting parties and Members of the House was clearly not to allow the functioning of the House, he would be left with no option but to adjourn the House, Mody said.
This was made clear to leaders of various parties who took up the matter with the Chairman, whose intention in doing so was to not present the House in poor light to the public by highlighting persistent disruptions since the proceedings of Rajya Sabha are telecast live, the Secretary-General said.