Opposition Absent, 15 Bills Passed In Rajya Sabha In Two Days

The opposition members had decided on Monday to boycott proceedings in both houses.

New Delhi:

Fifteen bills made it past the Rajya Sabha over the last two days as the opposition boycotted the proceedings in both houses over the suspension of its eight members for Sunday’s ruckus. Seven of the bills were passed yesterday, eight today. Three of the Bills passed were the hugely contentious labour laws that have been opposed by the most labour unions, including one affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological mentor of the BJP.  

Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu, in his valedictory address as parliament again adjourned indefinitely today, recalled precedents when bills were passed after walkout by some members.

“Shri Naidu said there have been a number of precedents when the bills were approved in the wake of boycott or walkout by some members. In this context, he cited the passage of Finance Bill and Appropriation Bill in 2013,” read a tweet from Mr Naidu’s official handle as the Vice-President.

The suspension of eight members of the Rajya Sabha over Sunday’s ruckus was “unpleasant but inevitable,” said Mr Naidu, who was not in the House that day.  

It was the right of the opposition to protest, “but the question is how should it be done”, Mr Naidu said adding that he was “duty bound to uphold the dignity of the Upper House”.

Mr Naidu also pointed out that boycott for a longer time deprives the members of the opportunity to effectively convey their ideas.

The opposition members had decided on Monday to boycott proceedings in both houses after eight members were suspended for the chaos after Deputy Chairman Harivansh Singh refused to hold a physical voting on farm bills as demanded by the members.   

The upset members had marched to the Well of the House, tore up papers and tried to wrench the mics.  

Today, MPs of the Congress and like-minded parties held a march from the Gandhi statue to the Ambedkar statue in parliament premises.

In the evening, the Leader of the Oppositin met President Ram Nath Kovind and requested him to withhold assent to the farm bills. The passage of the bills in Rajya Sabha was “unconstitutional”, they have told the President, Congress’s Ghulam Nabi Azad said.