The RJD on Wednesday walked out from the Rajya Sabha after its members were not allowed to raise the issue of alleged roughing up of opposition legislators, including some women MLAs, inside the Bihar Assembly.
RJD member Manoj Kumar Jha sought to raise the issue of the ruckus in the Bihar Assembly but was not allowed to do so by the Chair.
Leader of Opposition and Congress member Mallikarjun Kharge supported Jha, but Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu did not permit them to raise the issue, saying matters of states are not allowed to be raised in the upper house.
Naidu said he had disallowed some members from raising the issues concerning Maharashtra also. Jha and some other members of the RJD then staged a walkout in protest.
Jha stood up to raise the issue soon after scheduled papers were laid on the table of the House, and said a “heinous crime” has taken place and even women MLAs were not spared.
“I have gone through your (Jha) notice. It is a matter concerning the state so I cannot take it up…You can take up the issue in the State itself,” Naidu said.
As Jha insisted on raising the issue, Kharge said the Rajya Sabha Chairman has the discretion to allow a discussion on an issue related to “injustice” in a state, and urged Naidu to let Jha speak.
However, Naidu did not agree and suggested that a common policy be evolved on whether state related issues should be taken up or not.
“Next time, let us have a meeting of all parties, not in the Business Advisory Committee, but in the general purpose committee and you all people can come to a conclusion that Rajya Sabha can take up issues of states,” he said.
He said the other day some people wanted to take up the Maharashtra issue, but he did not permit them.
“Now somebody want to raise the Bihar issue and tomorrow somebody else wants to raise some other state issue. If we can discuss and have a common approach, and a common policy. If it suits me I will raise this issue otherwise I will oppose. I can’t do that,” Naidu said.
The Bihar Assembly witnessed unprecedented turmoil on Tuesday and the police was called in to physically evict opposition legislators who had laid siege to the Speaker’s chamber. They were protesting against the Police Special Powers Bill.