Opposition disrupts Rajya Sabha over V.K. Singh’s presence

New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha was disrupted on Thursday as BSP members objected to the presence of Minister of State for External Affairs Gen. V.K. Singh (retd) and demanded he be sent out of the house as he had “violated” his oath to the constitution.

The Rajya Sabha had taken up the Prevention of Corruption Amendment Bill, 2013, when the former army chief entered the house. Instantly, Bahujan Samaj Party leader Satish Chandra Misra objected to his presence.

“You are custodian of this house and you are responsible for seeing that only those entitled sit here,” Misra said addressing Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien.

“V.K. Singh is here and he is not entitled to sit in house because he insulted the constitution. You do not know how to address people… You used such words for Dalits. You took oath under the constituion which says all human beings are equal. You cannot take name of an animal while talking about a human being. He should leave the house on his own,” he said.

While both government members and the chair said the minister had all rights to sit in the house, BSP members left their seats and trooped near the chairman’s podium, shouting “V.K. Singh go back”.

In the ruckus, the house was adjourned for 10 minutes.

When the house met again, BSP remained adamant with Misra saying: “A minister who compares human beings to animals has no right to sit in this house”.

An angry Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu accused the party of caste politics”.

“Do your politics outside. This is a wrong allegation. He has not violated constitution.. you did politics on caste basis,” he said.

He rejected their demand, saying: “There is no question, this government has mandate and V.K. Singh is an elected member.”

BSP members again came towards the the chairman’s podium raising slogans and forcing another 10 minute long adjournment.

When the house met afterwards, the Congress joined the BSP and its member Pramod Tiwari said government does not want to run the house.

“Government does not want to run the house, that is why the person who violated the constitution is sitting here…” Tiwari said.

However, as Home Minister Rajnath Singh came to make remarks on the Chennai floods, the opposition members settled down, calling it an issue of national importance, but after that the issue was taken up again, and opposition members sought that the prevention of corruption bill shall be taken up later, to which the government and the chair eventually agreed.

Asked to comment on the incident of two Dalit children being burnt to death in Haryana’s Faridabad adjoining Delhi, Gen. Singh (retd.) said it was a local incident and as it happens, that even if a stone is thrown on a dog, the central government is held responsible. The remark had been be virulently criticised.