NDA government seems to be embarrassed when the first non-Congress Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha Harivansh Narayan Singh, who was elected slovely at the `mercy of BJP’ on his first day, showed the rule book to the government. The first time Rajya Sabha member, conducting the proceedings of the House for the first time, forced the treasury benches to take vote on a private member’s bill.
Harivansh, was in the chair in the afternoon when the private members’ business was taken up. After an intense debate on a private member resolution moved by SP member Vishambhar Prasad Nishad demanding uniform reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes across the country, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot replied.
The minister urged the member to withdraw the resolution saying “there is a process laid out by Parliament for inclusion and exclusion of caste in the list of SCs, STs and OBCs”. He said as per the procedure, the proposal for inclusion or exclusion of a caste in the list of SC and ST is to be sent by the states.
However, Nishad was not satisfied and demanded division. Immediately, Harivansh agreed and directed that the lobbies be cleared for voting. But Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tried to prevent the same stating that division (voting) is not taken in case of private member resolutions. He surprised that a new convention is being introduced.
This has resulted for a heated argument between treasury and Opposition benches. Finally Harivansh said that rules do not allow him to take back or stop voting once it is allowed and proceeded with division. Fortunately, as most of opposition members were not present in the house at that piont of time, the government has taken relief after the resolution was defeated 66-32.