|Television footage of Hamid Ansari in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. (PTI)
New Delhi, Aug. 13: Shouted down by MPs across parties, an agitated Hamid Ansari today wondered if “members wish the House to become a federation of anarchists….” This sparked a bigger uproar as the BJP and the Congress demanded in unison that the Rajya Sabha chairman withdraw his remark.
This is the second time this session that such a thing is happening. The first time Ansari was asked to withdraw his remark/order was on August 8 when BJP members demanded that their names be withdrawn from the Parliament bulletin. They were named for “disorderly conduct” over their protest against defence minister A.K. Antony’s statement on the LoC attack in which five soldiers died.”
Today’s trouble started soon after the House convened at 11am. BJP members started raising slogans about the land deals of Robert Vadra, Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law. The Gujarat BJP MP, Parshottam Khodabhai Rupala, led the charge.
To drown the BJP’s slogans, Congress members started shouting. Telugu Desam members added to the din by raising slogans of “Save Andhra”.
When Ansari’s efforts to bring order failed, he said: “Every single rule in the rule book, every single etiquette is being violated... if the Hon’ble members wish the House to become a federation of anarchists, then it is a different matter.” He then adjourned the House till noon.
When the House reconvened, leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley demanded that the Chair withdraw his remark. He said that calling even one MP “anarchist” was unparliamentary and the Chair had termed the entire House “anarchist”. Deputy chairman P.J. Kurien was in the Chair at that time.
Kurien, however, reasoned that Ansari had only raised a question. Rajiv Shukla, the minister of state for parliamentary affairs, also rose to the BJP’s defence, asking the Chair to “expunge” the remark. The BJP, however, pressed for unconditional withdrawal. Kurien said he would discuss the matter with Ansari.
There has been no official word yet on the BJP demand for withdrawing 20 MPs’ names from the Parliament bulletin.