Members from at least six opposition parties today moved a notice alleging breach of privilege and contempt of Rajya Sabha against Lok Sabha MP of BJD, Baijayant Jay Panda for his write up calling for "reducing" the power of the Upper House.
In the notice to Chairman of the Upper House Hamid Ansari, Rajya Sabha MPs Mohsina Kidwai (Congress), K C Tyagi (JD-U), Naresh Agrawal (SP), T K Rangarajan (CPI-M), D Raja (CPI)and Derek O 'Brien (Trinamool Congress) held that the views expressed by Panda constitute "breach of privilege" and "contempt of the House".
They took strong objection to Panda's write ups in some newspapers in which he said that the "reforms must reduce Rajya Sabha's power to block the popular mandate..." and favouring a "rethink on veto power of Rajya Sabha".
The members said said that if any individual or authority violates or disregards any of the privileges, powers and immunities of House, he may be punished for breach of privilege and contempt of House, the sources said.
The members have moved the privilege notice at a time when a number of bills of the government are stuck in Rajya Sabha with a combined Opposition cornering it on many issues.
The issue of Rajya Sabha "blocking" bills has been raised by others as well including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in past. The government has been reaching out to parties to take them on board in Rajya Sabha for the passage of crucial legislations like the GST.
When contacted, JD-U general secretary Tyagi said, "We have moved a resolution against Panda as we feel his remarks in his write ups amount to contempt of the House.
Panda rued that despite being in the forefront while
"screaming" that India is becoming intolerant, the six Opposition party members could not tolerate a "new idea".
"A privilege motion has been moved against me today in the Rajya Sabha about the article in which I have said that seeing how some other countries have reformed their upper Houses, should we consider some of these models?"
"Six MPs have moved the privilege notice against me. All these six have been in the forefront of screaming that India is becoming intolerant today but they cannot tolerate a new idea," he said in the course of a conversation at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit here.
Though Rajya Sabha MP and senior Congress leader Mohsina Kidwai is also a signatory to the petition, chief whip of the party in Lok Sabha Jyotiraditya Scindia was in disagreement.
"Not only the MP, every citizen has a right to express his or her views. If Jay has done so, that is his Constitutional right. We may agree or disagree with what he says. But anyone trying to throttle a MP or any citizen of the country from expressing his views, I think that is completely wrong," the Congress leader, who is also a former Union Minister, said.