Trinamool Congress MPs Arpita Ghosh and Dola Sen, Congress MPs Kumari Shelja and Jairam Ramesh and AAP MP Sanjay Singh were the first to reach the beauty of the House. Then TMC leader Derek O’Brien also came to the well with the rule book to show that it is a violation of the rules of the House to press the button and not allow the distribution of votes or voting. O’Brien’s actions are now embroiled in controversy, with some insisting he tore the pages of the rule book. A closer look at the Rajya Sabha footage adds to the confusion. It was also seen by DMK MP Tiruchi Siva throwing a book when O’Brien was near the chair, explaining the special rule of button voting to the vice-chairman.
Later, in high-profile press conferences, both the BJP and the Congress blamed each other for tarnishing the image of Parliament, as two controversial form bills were introduced in the Rajya Sabha on Sunday – Farmer Production Trade and Commerce (Incentives). And Convenience) Bill, 2020 and the Agreement on Farmer (Empowerment and Protection) Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 – passed amid a huge uproar by voice vote. During the day, farmers in many places, especially in Punjab and Haryana, staged protests against the bills.
On behalf of five other Union Ministers, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh addressed a press conference on Sunday evening and condemned the alleged misconduct of Deputy Chairperson Harivansh Narain Singh by members of the Opposition. He said that the conduct of the Opposition MPs in the Upper House of Parliament had embarrassed democracy, adding that he too was a farmer and no one should believe that the government would do anything to hurt the farmer.
Minutes later, the Congress said members were angry with the passage of the bill, noting that everyone, including BJP leaders, went to the well of the House and termed it a conspiracy by the ruling party.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that the same Parliament which Prime Minister Narendra Modi had bowed his head after coming to power was ashamed of the conduct of his ministers.
A video footage shows some torn pages being thrown at the same time. O’Brien, however, refuses to break the rule book. “If I have any evidence of breaking the rule of law, I will resign from Parliament tomorrow,” he told News18.