Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu on Monday dismissed the no-confidence motion moved by opposition parties against deputy chairman Harivansh Singh as it was “not in the proper format”.
Naidu, who rebuked the opposition parties for their conduct while opposing the contentious farm bills, said he received letter of no-confidence against the deputy chairman from 47 members, but it was not admissible under the rules. “The motion is not in a proper format. It requires notice of 14 days,” the Vice President said.
A no-confidence motion against the deputy chairman was a first in parliament. Twelve opposition parties had given notice for a no-confidence motion against Singh on Sunday, accusing him of violating the parliamentary procedures in trying to pass the farm sector Bills in haste, circumventing all demands for proper voting. Singh was re-elected for the second time to the post only six days back.
The no-confidence resolution was signed by MPs from the Congress, Trinamool Congress, DMK, RJD, TRS, NCP, AAP, CPI, CPI (M), JD (S), IUML and Kerala Congress (Mani).
“When the agitated members, on being denied the right for a division on this crucial bill protested strongly pointing out how gravely the bill is against the farmer’s interest, the Deputy Chairperson packed the house with security personnel deliberately designed to overawe and outnumber the members of the opposition,” the resolution read.
The opposition members were up in arms on Sunday after Singh moved to pass the two farm sector Bills by voice vote despite a demand for division by DMK MP Siva from his seat. The opposition had demanded a physical voting where members who sat in the Lok Sabha could also vote, pointing out that they were sitting in parliament.
When the Chair refused, they rushed to the Well of the House, tried to tear up the rule book to underscore their allegations, and tried to snatch off the Deputy Chairman’s microphone.
Naidu said the scenes that unfolded in the House marked a ‘bad day’, and suspended eight MPs from opposition parties. “They snatched mikes, they abused the deputy chairman. The rule book was thrown at him. You have no right to upset the chairman. Some members accepted outside that they did it,” Naidu said on Monday.
He said the deputy chairman was physically threatened and wondered what would have happened if the marshals were not called. “This is unfortunate and unacceptable. It tarnishes the image of parliament,” he said, asking some members to introspect their actions.