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Ansari agrees to review 'anarchist' remark

Ansari agrees to review anarchist remark

New Delhi: Rajya Sabha chairperson Hamid Ansari Wednesday agreed to review his "federation of anarchists" remark about the house, following requests from various members.

"I will ask the Rajya Sabha secretariat to review the remarks in light of the records they have," Ansari told the house, after his closing remarks ahead of adjourning the Rajya Sabha Tuesday became controversial.

The assurance came after members Wednesday urged the chair to expunge the reference, while government members backed the chairman and urged him not to remove the comment.

Ansari, however, justified the usage, saying "federation of anarchists" is a proper noun and there were several organisations by that name.

"Several bodies of this name exist in several countries. There is an international organisation by this name as well," Ansari said.

He also explained that he had not meant to make an allegation or offer a description of the house, but only pose a question.

"As such, it is not an allegation, or an attribution to the house. If a question is posed, it cannot be an allegation," Ansari said.

Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal asked if he could say "Three Idiots" in parliament debates, and then claim it was the name of a movie.

Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley said that the sentiment of the house was conveyed and the decision rested with the chairman.

"There was innuendo in the question that you posed (federation of anarchists). Please don't allow the word to be part of records," said Jaitley.

The AIADMK, Trinamool Congress, and Left parties joined the BJP and allied in demanding the removal of the reference.

"It is not a question of what the word anarchist means, it is about how it was taken by the house," said CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury.

However, members from the Congress and some other parties backed the chairman, saying there was need for the house to introspect.

"Your anguish is understandable. We need to look at ourselves, people are asking what is happening in parliament," Congress leader Karan Singh said.

Congress leader M.S. Gill said he "pitied" the chair, and he was joined by Ram Vilas Paswan of the Lok Janasakti Party who too said there was need for introspection among members of the house.

BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu, however, said whatever issues were raised were on behalf of the people.

The chairman said that he only acting as a referee, and called for a review of procedures of the house.

"I would like to convene, as early as possible, a meeting of the leaders so that we have frank practical discussions about the rules, and if they need to be amended," he added.

As soon as the house met, various members of house raised the issue, appealing to Ansari to expunge it.

Ansari, before adjourning the house Tuesday, had said: "Every single rule in the rule book, every single etiquette, is being violated... If the honourable members wish the house to become a federation of anarchists, then it is a different matter."


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