A day after six MPs moved a notice alleging breach of privilege and contempt against BJD MP Baijayant Panda over his write-up seeking the reduction of Rajya Sabha’s power, the regional outfit on Saturday distanced itself from the controversy.
“Whatever Panda said on the Rajya Sabha’s role, that is his personal opinion and does not reflect the stand of Biju Janata Dal that believes in the rich tradition of the Parliamentary democracy,” BJD’s general secretary Narendra Kumar Swain said in a statement released in the party’s official letterhead. “In a federal democratic set-up, significance of Rajya Sabha is very important. Indian Constitution makes provision of a two-tier parliamentary system and provides a permanent legislature in the name of Rajya Sabha whose members are being elected by state legislative Assemblies,” the statement said.
“The BJD believes that Rajya Sabha as a strong pillar, balances the federal system under democratic set-up,” the party said. Panda, a Lok Sabha MP from coastal Kendrapara segment, in a newspaper write-up, said that the “reforms must reduce Rajya Sabha’s power to block the popular mandate…” and mooted for a “rethink on veto power of Rajya Sabha”.