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PM Modi blocks Oppn intervention, Chair says not ‘normal practice’

During his reply to the Motion of Thanks, Modi had sought CPI(M)'s support for his government's decision to demonetise Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 on the ground that late Jyoti Basu of the CPI(M) had supported the idea in 1972.

New Delhi: Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari conducting the proceedings of the House in New Delhi on Thursday. PTI Photo / TV Grab(PTI2_2_2017_000057B) New Delhi: Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari conducting the proceedings of the House in New Delhi on Thursday. PTI Photo / TV Grab

Agreeing with members of the Opposition, Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari Wednesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had digressed from parliamentary practice by not conceding to the requests of CPI(M) member Sitaram Yechury and JD(U) MP Sharad Yadav to let them intervene during his speech on Wednesday evening.

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When Yechury and Yadav stood up to intervene during the PM’s reply to Motion of Thanks, Modi requested them to hear him out first. At the end of his speech, when the two MPs sought the Chair’s permission to speak, BJP MPs objected saying that a discussion on the PM’s reply is not a convention in the Rajya Sabha.

At this point, Ansari was heard saying that he assumed that the PM was okay with the MPs speaking. When BJP MPs continued objecting, Ansari said, “I have watched with much distress what has happened this afternoon in the House. I am not putting blame on anybody because if you look at it in totality, all the Members of the House have to share the blame in some measure or the other. I think, the normal practice, to my understanding, has been that when a speaker has the floor and somebody wishes to intervene, the person speaking concedes. Now, that has happened very often. That is a known practice.

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“Today, different people wanted to intervene somewhere. The honourable speaker, at that moment of time, did not concede. Now, the practice is, if it is not conceded, it is not conceded. You can draw conclusions as to why it was not conceded, whether it was in keeping with parliamentary etiquette, etc. etc…”

Rajya Sabha had witnessed protests from Opposition benches after Modi’s jibe at Manmohan Singh. Congress MPs had staged a walkout when Modi refused to withdraw his remarks. Members of other opposition parties, including CPI, JD(U) and others, also walked out. It is not clear whether Ansari’s remarks on being distressed at Rajya Sabha proceedings were a direct reference to Modi’s jibe.

During his reply to the Motion of Thanks, Modi had sought CPI(M)’s support for his government’s decision to demonetise Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 on the ground that late Jyoti Basu of the CPI(M) had supported the idea in 1972. At this point, Yechury tried to make some clarification when the PM requested that he should hear him out first.

First published on: 09-02-2017 at 05:47:58 am
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