Winter Session of Parliament: On his first day as Rajya Sabha chairman today, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu brought two changes in the conduct of the House. First, he appealed members to stop using colonial terms while laying papers on the table. While presiding over the Upper House proceedings for the first time on the opening day of the Winter Session of Parliament, Naidu said no member should use the word “I beg to” while laying papers on the table. “Just say I raise to lay on the table” the listed papers, Naidu said, adding, “No need to beg… this is independent India.” Naidu said this when called to lay the listed papers and started their sentences, saying, “I beg to lay on the table the papers listed against my name in today’s revised list of business.” The Vice-President, however, stressed that his was only a suggestion, not an order.
In another change, stood up while reading out obituary references. Naidu’s predecessors Hamid Ansari and Bhairon Singh Shekhawat used to read the obituary references while being seated. In Lok Sabha, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan too stands while reading out obituary references.
Rajya Sabha adjourned
The vitriolic Gujarat election campaign cast its shadow on day one of the Winter Session of Parliament with the Congress insisting on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s apology for alleging that his predecessor Manmohan Singh had colluded with Pakistan to influence the election. Congress leaders had also raised the issue at an all party meeting held on Thursday during which Modi, who joined the deliberations later, sought opposition parties’ cooperation for a meaningful session and also asked them to evolve a consensus on holding simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly polls.
The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day as uproar by Congress members continued. Opposition leaders also protested the rejection of their notice in the Rajya Sabha seeking an explanation and apology from Prime Minister
Narendra Modi. “We gave a notice, but the chairman adjourned the House and did not let us raise the issue. We are disappointed. The chairman should have given us permission. This is a national… international issue,” Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters.