5"‘ December, 2014
Joint Statement from Leaders of Opposition Parties in Rajya Sabha
The undersigned parties representing a majority in the Rajya Sabha had taken strong objection to the outrageous remarks made by a minister of state in the current union council of ministers. Such remarks warrant the outright removal of the concerned minister as they not only constitute a cognizable, non-compoundable offence under Section 153-A of the Indian Penal Code but at the same time also violate the fundamental feature of our Constitution under whose oath this minister has assumed office. Given this situation, utmost priority would have been either to ask the minister to resign or for the Prime Minister to recommend her removal from the union council of ministers.
When the Prime Minister attended Rajya Sabha on Thursday (4"‘ December, 2014) we relented and heard the Prime Minister’s speech in complete silence with utmost respect and dignity. Unfortunately, the Prime Minister did not meet the basic issue of removal of the concerned minister from the Union Council of Ministers or even censure her comments.
Given this we decided and informed the Business Advisory Committee held on Thursday (4"‘ December, 2014) at 1.00 PM that we would propose a Motion of Censure in the House to the effect that such comments coming from an Hon. MP and a member of the Union Council of Ministers are not acceptable and deserve to be condemned. We went to the extent of not naming the concerned Minister. The Government on its part through the Minister of State (I/C) for Parliamentary Affairs informed us that they would consider and return today (5" December, 2014) with their response.
Unfortunately, we have been informed now that the Government does not accept our reasonable proposal. All through this period we have shown restraint, though disappointed, we heard the Prime Minister without an interruption and then made such a proposal.
The sincerity of the opposition in running the House smoothly and performing the Parliamentary Business to be conducted properly has been displayed by the fact that within two days, 5 legislations were considered and adopted by the House. This has no precedence in recent memory.
Despite the reasonability and cooperation extended by the entire opposition in Rajya Sabha, the Government continued to remain obdurate and highly unreasonable. This unfortunately leaves us with no option but to continue with our protest demanding that such remarks aimed at sharpening communal polarization in the country for narrow partisan, political and electoral gains is not acceptable. Such remarks run against the grain of our pluralistic ethos and the spirit of our secular and democratic Constitution.
The current impasse in the Rajya Sabha is thus the creation of the Government. We once again appeal to the Government to accept a joint resolution condemning the attempts to outrage our Constitution by making inflammatory speeches aimed at dividing the syncretic, socio-cultural mosaic of our country’s rich diversity.
1. Indian National Congress
2. Samajwadi Party
3. All India Trinamool Congress
4. Janata Dal (United)
5. Bahujan Samaj Party
6. CPI (M)
Joint Statement of opposition
5"‘ December, 2014