Winter session begins with chaos in Rajya Sabha

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New Delhi, Dec 4:r Rudra Narayan Pany, one of the most vocal members of the BJP in the Rajya Sabha, today came perilously close from being suspended from the House for the remainder of the Winter Session after he made a vociferous demand to raise some issue during Zero Hour.

However, Leader of the Opposition in the House Jaswant Singh saved the situation from spiralling out of control after he apologised to Deputy Chairman K Rehman Khan on behalf of Mr Pany.

It all happened during Zero Hour when members were making Special Mentions listed against their names.

Mr Pany, who looked visibly agitated after his plea to raise some issue was turned down, trooped into the well of the House and squatted on the floor in protest against the Chair's decision.

Supported by some party colleagues, he also had a heated discussion with Mr Khan, who maintained that he had not received any notice from the member.

Showing signs of belligerence, Mr Pany reacted angrily, saying ''Yeh adhama hai (this is injustice).'' He said he had given a notice some weeks ago for raising an issue of immediate importance in the House, but no decision was taken.

As he continued to shout, Mr Khan lost his cool, saying he would be forced to suspend the member for the remainder of the session.

''I am warning you...you are breaking the rules,'' he said, adding that the government should take note of the member's conduct.

In fact, Mr Khan went to the extent of saying that he was suspending him for the duration of the Winter Session. ''If this is not challenged, how can the House function,'' asked Mr Khan, showing signs of exasperation.

Mr Pany was not the only one who demanded raising some issue.

Mr B J Panda of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and some DMK and AIADMK members also had heated discussions with the Chair.

Mr Panda said he had given a calling attention notice to the Chair two weeks ago, and it was duly signed by 15 members of the House. He also wanted the issue to be raised in the House during Zero Hour today as there was suffucient time for it.

Mr Khan, however, stuck to his position that the Chair had not received only calling attention notice from Mr Panda, not a proper notice.

''The House has to run according to rules. It cannot go by what has transpired in the Chair,'' he added.

As the din continued, Mr Jaswant Singh intervened to prevent the situation from turning into an unsavoury spectacle.

''Sir, as Leader of the Opposition in the House, it is my duty to ensure that opposition members behave properly and respect the majesty of the Chair. I, therefore, tender an apology on his behalf,'' he said.

But Mr Singh also argued that Mr Panda is one of the most mature and decent members of the House, and he should have been allowed to articulate his views in the House.

''We should go by the dictum -- the government has its way and the opposition has its say,'' he said.

The observation brought down the curtain on the chaos which had paralysed the functioning of the Rajya Sabha for nearly half-an-hour.

UNI

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