How govt averted an embarrassing situation in Rajya Sabha

NEW DELHI: Disfavouring inclusion of certain castes under the SC category, government was today on the verge of facing an embarrassing situation in Rajya Sabha when a private member bill on it was about to be put to vote but it was averted as the ruling side cited lack of quorum.

Naqvi
Doing a quick thinking, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi pointed to the Chair that the House does not have quorum for voting.

The situation almost reached the embarrassing point for the government as Vishambhar Prasad Nishad of Samajwadi Party, who had moved the bill, insisted on putting it to vote, rejecting pleas for withdrawing it. As Nishad remained adamant on voting, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien started the process of voting on the bill.

Normally, private member bills, except in a rare few cases, are withdrawn by those moving them after a reply from the government. “If he is not withdrawing, I will have to put it to vote,” Kurien said. Sensing an unpleasant situation, some members of BJP, including a minister, went out of the House which was left with 21 members altogether.

Doing a quick thinking, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi pointed to the Chair that the House does not have quorum for voting.

As per the rules, the House should have at least 10 per cent of members of the total strength present for quorum. In the case of Rajya Sabha, presence of at least 25 members is required for quorum. Since the House did not have as many members, it was adourned for the day. Earlier, replying to the bill, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot urged the member to withdraw the bill saying that the Centre cannot include castes like Mallah, Goriya and Kashyap under SC as the Registrar General (RGI) has rejected the UP government’s proposal twice.

“Recommendation of RGI is binding for us. RGI has rejected the UP government’s proposal twice, the government of India cannot include these castes mentioned by the member under SC,” he said. A

WITH PTI