'Derek tried to snatch papers': Harivansh's blow by blow retort on rule breaking in Rajya Sabha

Updated: 28 September, 2020 11:49 IST | IANS | New Delhi

Harivansh Singh's clarification comes in the wake of a news report suggesting that members were in their seats, as demanded by Singh to be a prerequisite for division of votes

Harivansh Narayan Singh. Pic/PTI
Harivansh Narayan Singh. Pic/PTI

Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh has given a blow by blow account, presenting a chronological order of the day when two agri bills were passed in the Upper House amid disorder and shouting. The Opposition alleged that their request for division of vote was not entertained."

Singh's clarification comes in the wake of a news report suggesting that members were in their seats, as demanded by Singh to be a prerequisite for division of votes.

"The statutory resolution disapproving the ordinance and the amendment for the reference of the bill to select committee moved by Sri KK Ragesh were negatived by voice vote by the House at 1.07 p.m., as Sri Ragesh was in the Well of the House and not on his seat at the gallery at that point of time. This can be seen from the video as calling him to move his resolution and amendment, I looked at the gallery, but he was not there," said Singh.

Singh further elaborates that Tiruchi Siva demanded division on his amendment for reference of the bill to select committee from his seat at ten past one in the afternoon. But he defends saying, "You will see from the same video that around 1.09 p.m., one member was tearing the rule book and throwing on me. I was surrounded by some hostile members, who were trying to snatch papers from me." He was referring to TMC's Derek O'Brien.

In a minute by minute account provided by Singh, at 1.09 p.m. it is stated that O' Brien tried to snatch legislative papers kept on the Chairman's table, towards his left hand side, and "misbehaved with the Marshal on being obstructed". The same time band also refers to another member Ripun Bora throwing books in the air.

The Rajya Sabha Deputy chairperson, who came under opposition attack after denying the division of votes stated that two things are essential for the division -- demand for the same and order in house.

Singh says, "I hold a constitutional position and therefore, cannot issue a formal rebuttal. I am bringing these facts to your notice and leave it to your conscience for your judgement."

To bolster his point, Singh also added a blow by blow account from 12.56 p.m. to 13.57 p.m. as happened in the Upper House on September 20.

The house was debating on the contentious Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation)Bill, 2020, and The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.

What followed were unprecedented ruckus resulting in suspension of 8 members of the house including Derek O'Brien who has been named at 1.09 p.m. to be snatching legislative papers. A no confidence motion was also brought against Singh which was dismissed by house Chairman Venkaiah Naidu.

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First Published: 28 September, 2020 11:32 IST

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