New Delhi: The government’s claims that the rules are being followed when voting on agricultural bills in Rajya Sabha on September 20 and its version of events presents a profound shift from the televised footage of the proceedings seen by NDTV. Voice voting has been extremely controversial. The opposition alleged the government was running out of numbers, which would have become clear if a physical vote had taken place. They also accused Vice President Harivansh Singh, who chaired the debates, of collusion with the government.
Singh and the government claimed opposition requests for the physical vote were rejected because members were out of place when the request was made.
Images examined by NDTV show that at least two of the three MPs – KK Ragesh and Trichy Siva – who offered to send the controversial bills to a select committee, were in their shoes when they asked for a split. .
In addition, the rules were broken when the schedule of sessions was extended at the request of the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Pralhad Joshi. A session can only be extended with the agreement of the government and the opposition.
But in this case, Rajya Sabha’s footage made it clear that at around 1:03 pm, opposition leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said: “The opposition parties say the deadline should not be extended today. and that tomorrow the Minister will be able to answer … ”
DMK MP Trichy Siva, a member of parliament for two decades, told NDTV: “Usually the house is enlarged after obtaining the consensus of the house.”
But the extension was made “just by looking at the treasury banks … despite members of 12 opposition parties on their feet asking for the adjournment.” This is in flagrant violation of Rule 37 of Rajya Sabha, ”he said.
Calling on the Parliamentary Affairs Minister’s request to extend the chamber until the adoption of “normal practice” bills, Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad later said: “The meaning of the House is not not united by the majority and the minority ”.
Rule 252 (4) (a) of the Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Council of States states: “If the opinion of the President as to the decision of any question is contested and he does not take the provided for in paragraph (3) it orders that a “division” be held.
The footage of Rajya Sabha was also released at 1:10 p.m. when the vice president took Trichy Siva’s motion to send the bills to a select committee, he was at his seat and called for the votes to be split. But the motion was rejected by voice vote.
When the amendment by Kerala PMC member KK Ragesh was resumed at 1:11 p.m., he was also at his seat and called for the votes to be split, the pictures show. But again, the motion was defeated by voice vote.
Speaking to NDTV, Mr. Ragesh said the government’s claim that members are out of place while demanding division was a “blatant lie”.
Accusing Harivansh Singh, vice-president of Rajya Sabha, of collusion with the government, the opposition had adopted a motion of censure against him, which was rejected by the president of the upper house Venkaiah Naidu.
The vice president in a statement denied the opposition allegations with a minute-by-minute “incident report” detailing what happened inside the house.
“The statutory resolution disapproving the ordinance and the amendment for the referral of the bill to the selection committee proposed by Sri KK Ragesh were rejected by a voice vote from the chamber at 1:07 pm because Sri Ragesh was in the well of the house and not on his seat. in the gallery at that time. This can be seen from the video as after calling him to propose his resolution and amendment, I looked at the gallery, but he was not there, ”he said in his note.
Regarding Tiruchy Siva’s motion to send the bills to a select committee, resumed at 1:10 p.m. while he was in his seat and demanded a split, Mr. Singh’s note, citing the chaos of the time, read as follows: “You will appreciate, as according to the rules and the practice, to have a division, two things are essential. First, there should be a demand for division and just as important that there be order in the house. ”