Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday chided Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel for indulging in an argument with the Opposition members.
As Goel read out the government’s listed business for the rest of the session, Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal stood up and said that the government was trying to cram too many bills in a short time.
“Sir, this is 22 hours of business but Parliament is not going to work for that long (in this session). The number of bills should be realistic. They are doing it just for publicity that government wants to pass so many bills,” Agarwal said.
To this, Goel, looking straight at Agarwal, shot back: “The government is serious about all these bills, they concern public interests. They were all there in the Business Advisory Committee (BAC). These can be introduced only if you let the House function.”
However, Chairman Naidu, apparently not impressed with Goel’s aggression cut him short.
“Mr. Vijay Goel, minister, don’t argue with other members. Any member having anything should address the Chair. No cross questioning is allowed in this House either by members or ministers or by anybody,” Naidu said.
“There is House, there is Chairman and there are rules and regulations. Don’t worry, everything will be taken care of,” he added.
A few minutes later, however, Goel again repeated his act, indulging in an argument with Congress leader Anand Sharma who had been asking for an adjournment. Sharma complained to the Chair of Goel’s interruptions.
“Sir, the Minister is again interrupting directly. You had just told him not to,” Sharma said.
To this, Naidu again told Goel, albeit this time gently, to not directly address the members. Goel then sat down and Naidu adjourned the House till Wednesday.
It is not usual for the Chair to scold ministers but there have been a few instances.
In the last Winter Session, the House had witnessed a similar scene when Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien chided then Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
“I will take action against you. I don’t mind if you are a Minister,” an agitated Kurien had told Naqvi when the latter asked him under what rule he had allowed a point of order by Congress member Anand Sharma, who was speaking at that time.
“What? You cannot do my job. What are you doing? Sit down. Who are you to ask under what rule? Sit down,” Kurien had said loudly.