For the last two days Dr KVP Ramachandra Rao’s Private Member’s bill on AP Special Status has taken centre stage in Rajyasabha stalling every other proceeding. When it was introduced last Friday the ruling BJP-led NDA members interrupted the House proceedings and there by stalling the bill on Special Status business. However, on Monday senior Congress leaders, Anand Sharma, Digvijay Singh and Jairam Ramesh insisted that the discussion resume before anything else can be taken up. They protested the undemocratic way it was cut short on Friday. Despite Dy Chairman AJ Kuyrian’s informing that the bill can only be discussed on August 5th again, the Congress party members were not appeased.
The pandemonium continued into Tuesday when Jairam Ramesh accused the ruling party of planning to term the Private Member Bill as Money Bill so that it can be sabotaged. The Chair insisted that no such term was used; meanwhile Union Minister Muqtar Abbas Naqvi accused the opposition of stalling developmental bills. YSRCP MP Vijay Sai Reddy, TDP members CM Ramesh and YS Sujana Chowdary supported Jairam Ramesh’s plea that voting be allowed.
It is understood that the ruling party plans to dub the Private Member Bill as Money Bill that will then lose its eligibility to be introduced in Rajya Sabha, and hence can be discarded. This was yet again proved when the chair could not commit to the bill being taken up on Friday or that it will not be termed as a Money bill when Sitaram Yechuri asked for an assurance. And Finance Minister Arun Jaitley did claim in the house that it was indeed a Money Bill and hence cannot be introduced in Rajyasabha.
For information – though several Private Member Bills are introduced, very few are passed in Parliament. The last such bill was the Supreme Court (enlargement of criminal appellate jurisdiction) Bill that was passed in 1970.