Amid concerns over recurring disruptions of Parliament, political leaders, at an all-party meeting on Sunday, failed to agree on measures for smoother functioning of the Rajya Sabha, with no takers for proposals such as automatic suspension of members or deferred telecast of question hour.
Ahead of the second half of the budget session starting on Monday, Vice President and Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari convened a meeting of party leaders, but could not bring about a consensus among opposition parties on adopting the stringent measures.
On the last day of the first half of the budget session, AIADMK members had broken the chair’s microphone and hurled papers, claiming that the government was not doing enough on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue. Though he did not mention the March 22 incident, Ansari said the meeting was convened in “agony and distress”.
“The impact of this on public perception is being increasingly articulated in the media and on other public fora. Expressions like ‘competitive hooliganism’ and ‘collective shame’ have been used. This reflects poorly on the dignity of the House and brings it down in public esteem,” he said.
He pointed out that people look up to Members of Parliament as their role models. “We can’t violate rules with impunity and then expect citizens to follow laws we make for them. We must bring to an end this dichotomy in our thinking and behaviour,” he urged.
With question hour at the start of the day bearing the brunt of interruptions, Ansari suggested that instead of simultaneous telecast, the broadcast could be deferred since “one possible objective of disruptions is to seek instant publicity through live telecast of proceedings”. He also suggested that parties could consider automatic suspension of members creating disorder, which is already being followed in the Lok Sabha.