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Rajya Sabha impasse ends with chairman's statement

Rajya Sabha impasse ends with chairmans statement

New Delhi: The impasse in the Rajya Sabha finally ended Monday, after Chairman M. Hamid Ansari made a brief statement appealing to lawmakers to "maintain civility" in their public discourse.

After losing the zero hour to protest Monday, a meeting of the ruling party and opposition leaders was called by Ansari.

As the government did not agree to passing a resolution as demanded by the opposition, it was decided that a general statement would instead be made by the chairman.

The house, which was first adjourned till noon soon after it met, saw two more brief adjournments and finally met around 12.30 p.m.

The chairman said: "I wish to say, this house while acknowledging the statement of prime minister, made in the house Dec 4, appeals to all members of parliament, ministers, and leaders of all political parties, to maintain civility at all costs in all public discourse for the successful functioning of parliamentary democracy and to uphold our commitment to constitutional values."

The house resumed normal function after that, bringing the curtain down on a week-long impasse when the house did not transact any government business.

Opposition members in the house had united, initially demanding the resignation of union Minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti who had made an abusive remark at a BJP election rally in Delhi.

Jyoti had reportedly said at a public meeting here: "Aapko tay karna hai ki Dilli mein sarkar Ramzadon ki banegi ya haramzadon ki." (You have to decide if you want a government in Delhi to be led by the children of Lord Ram or illegitimate children.)

Later, the opposition, which is in majority in the Rajya Sabha, scaled down its demand to a resolution condemning hate speech, and Monday, they once again scaled the demand down to a two-line general resolution cautioning members against derogatory remarks.

The resolution proposed by opposition read: "This house strongly disproves any statement made by any member of parliament, member of cabinet or council of ministers that is inflammatory, derogatory, and violates the letter and spirit of the Constitution and law of the land."

The government didn't agree and finally the chairman's statement was worked out as a solution.

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