New Delhi, Mar 27: BJP MLA Vijender Gupta appears to be in trouble with Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel seeking an explanation from him following a communication from Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari to initiate necessary action against him for allegedly favouring "abolition" of the Upper House.
Ansari had asked the Delhi Speaker to take necessary action against Gupta holding that "the matter seems to involve prima facie question of privilege" while acting on a complaint by JD(U) MP KC Tyagi, who accused the BJP MLA of casting aspersions on the members of Rajya Sabha.
Referring to a newspaper article written by Gupta, who is leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, Tyagi alleged that the BJP MLA sought to underline the differences between the two Houses of Parliament and had suggested abolition of the Rajya Sabha.
In his privilege notice to Ansari against Gupta under Rule 188 of conduct of the business in the House, Tyagi had held that the views expressed by the BJP lawmaker amounted to "breach of privilege and contempt of the House."
In his communication to Delhi Assembly Speaker, Ansari said since one House cannot claim or exercise any authority over members of the other House, he was referring the matter to Goel for further necessary action.
"Following instructions from the Vice-President, we have sought explanation from Gupta. He has sought 15 days' time to submit his response," Goel said.
There are indications that Goel may refer the case to Assembly's Privileges Committee and, based on its report, a final decision on the fate of the BJP leader will be taken by the Speaker. When contacted, Gupta justified his remarks saying he wanted a debate on the issue and there was "nothing wrong" in it.
"I stand by what I have written. I have done no wrong. Such a debate should be normal in any democracy. There have been efforts to get political mileage out of the issue," he said.
The row has come at a time when a number of leaders have raised the issue of role and relevance of Rajya Sabha in the wake of the Upper House not clearing a number of bills passed by the Lok Sabha where the government has majority.
In his complaint, Tyagi had also noted "for last few weeks, questions have been raised over role and relevance of Rajya Sabha. There is a demand to bring necessary change in the Constitution to limit the powers and role of the Rajya Sabha".
He also referred to an earlier notice sent against BJD MP from Lok Sabha Baijayant Panda which was signed by six MPs of Rajya Sabha.