Naidu speaks to ministers to end Parliament logjam

Venkaiah Naidu speaks to Kharge, senior ministers to end Parliament logjam

He said he was also willing to permit discussion on issues but 'you cannot force us'

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu conducts proceedings of the House during the Monsoon Session of Parliament. Credit: PTI Photo

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has spoken to senior ministers, including Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah, and Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge in a bid to find a breakthrough for the smooth functioning of the Upper House in the ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament.

Naidu's efforts came as Parliament proceedings witnessed another washout with Lok Sabha passing the Essential Defence Services Bill, which bans strikes in defence production sector and has attracted Opposition ire, and Rajya Sabha clearing the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill 2021 amid din.

Naidu discussed the matter with Kharge on Tuesday soon after the House adjourned in the morning session while he held discussions with Singh, Shah, Leader of House in Rajya Sabha Piyush Goyal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi on Monday evening.

He told both the sides to collectively find a solution to the logjam in Parliament. Naidu asked both the sides to sit together to work out an amicable solution to end the stalemate that has led to the virtual washout of proceedings since July 19 following the government not accepting the Opposition demand for a discussion on the Pegasus episode.

The Defence Minister had on Monday reached out to Kharge and Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha floor leader Sudip Bandhyopadhyay but the Opposition remained adamant on a discussion on Pegasus first.

A top government floor manager claimed the Opposition had no clarity on what they wanted while the Opposition leaders accused the Ministers of indulging in the"optics of discussion".

On Tuesday in Rajya Sabha, Naidu told members during Zero Hour that the majority of the MPs wanted to run the House and discuss issues.

He said he was also willing to permit discussion on issues but "you cannot force us, you cannot dictate what to do and what not to do".

"People are watching, children are watching. The entire country is really getting agonised by your continued disruptions. We are sent here for discussion. Discuss, debate and decide. Do not disrupt."

As he disallowed motions seeking suspension of business and discussed Pegasus submitted by members, including Kharge, MPs continued their protest. Naidu told them, "nobody can dictate the chair. Nobody can show an accusing finger. Understand. Go to your seats."