Rajya Sabha on Tuesday saw a spat between Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and TMC leader Derek O’Brien during the debate on Constitution.
O’Brien, while speaking on the issue, took objection to Jaitley’s reported remarks questioning whether an un-elected House (Rajya Sabha) should override the decision of the elected House (Lok Sabha).
The Leader of the House makes statements outside the House "demeaning" the Rajya Sabha, he said.
"Please do not indulge in cowboy Constitutionalism. This is cowboy Constitutionalism at the worst," he said, adding Jaitley should not make such remarks only because the numbers in the Rajya Sabha do not favour the BJP.
Countering it, Jaitley said, "In bicameral House-based democracies, it is a debate all over the world. Britain started this debate in 1885, which continued till 1946. For the last two decades, Italy had this debate which has culminated in a decision last month.
"And, therefore, in a bi-cameral system, the relationship between two Houses is a constitutional issue, not a cowboy issue."
Jaitley also told O’Brien in a lighter vein it was not a quiz show. O’Brien is a know quiz show master.
At this, O’Brien said he was happy that his comments had provoked a reaction from the Finance Minister.
The TMC leader also got into a spat with Left leaders.
Latching to CPI-M member Sitaram Yechury’s remarks that the BJP, which did not play any role in the freedom struggle, was "worming" its way into the history of the independence movement, O’Brien said "at least the Communists do not have the right to question it".
Objecting to the remarks, CPI(M) members T K Rangarajan and Tapan Sen said there were not many parties in Indian history which had the courage to own up mistakes and O’Brien should remember that his party was "not even born" when the freedom struggle took place.