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No debate, frequent adjournments: Upset Opposition ready with protest letter against Venkaiah Naidu

A section of the opposition has prepared a draft letter to protest certain actions of Venkaiah Naidu and is waiting for an appropriate time to hand it over to the Rajya Sabha chairman.

The list includes allegations against Naidu that he “doesn’t allow opposition parties any space for debate, favours ruling party members and adjourns the house according to his whims and fancies,” claimed an opposition leader.

The leader pointed out that “perhaps for the first time in Rajya Sabha’s history, the House was adjourned for just 10 minutes and it looked as if it was done to allow the BJP president Amit Shah to complete his speech.”

“All opposition parties are upset and frustrated with the completely arbitrary functioning of the chairman,” alleged an opposition leader.

“Naidu is supposed to be the umpire but at times he acts like a player,” said another leader.

There is, however, no clarity when the opposition leaders would submit their letter.

A Rajya Sabha official rejected all such “absurd” charges and pointed out that the opposition had often tried to disrupt the House without any basis.

“On July 31, after the House was adjourned for the day, the chairman called Azad to his chamber and conveyed his unhappiness over the way a good discussion on NRC (National Register of Citizens) in Assam was derailed towards the end,” the official said.

“The chairman pointed out that the Question Hour was suspended to discuss. Naidu also noted that it looked as if the disruption towards the end is pre-planned,” the official added.

The official also said the Congress created an uproar and claimed in the House that Shah should apologise for saying no prime minister since Rajiv Gandhi and those after him had the courage to implement NRC.

Naidu checked the record of verbatim proceedings of the House and saw that Shah did not make any such references to other PMs during his speech on Wednesday, he added.

The letter, drafted by a senior Congress leader and edited by a leader from another party, is with Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad since Wednesday.

“We expect floor leaders from different parties to sign it. Azad (LoP), Trinamool’s Derek O’Brien, Ramgopal Yadav from SP, Misa Bharati of RJD, DMK’s Kanimozhi are expected to sign it. We are also trying to get signatures of YRSCP and TDP,” added a leader.

Two opposition parties, Telangana Rashtra Samithi and Biju Janata Dal have refused to sign it.

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