Members in Rajya Sabha today raised the issue of protocol alleging that Upper House members were considered lower than those of Lok Sabha and seniority was not given any consideration.
Raising the issue, Naresh Agrawal (SP) said the government while forming vigilance committees in each district have made Lok Sabha members as chairmen and not anyone from the Upper House.
"Government has made Lok Sabha MPs as chairmen of various district vigilance committees and even though senior, Rajya Sabha members have been made their co-chairmen. Rajya Sabha members are considered inferior, whether senior or junior, whether experienced or not...
"Which House is superior or inferior? Will Rajya Sabha remain lower than Lok Sabha? Even on foreign tours of Rajya Sabha members, the Lok Sabha will decide. As per protocol, Rajya Sabha Chairman is higher than Lok Sabha Speaker. He is even above the Prime Minister. Will members of this House be insulted? I have raised a serious issue, Chairman should give a ruling," he said.
This forced Kurien to tell the government, "it is a serious matter... Why don't you make the senior (member) as Chairman and the junior the co-chairman."
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, "This is not our arrangement. This is continuing from the previous government. We respect the sentiments of members. This is there since earlier times."
K C Tyagi (JD-U) also raised the issue of protecting the rights of Rajya Sabha members.
Madhusudan Mistry (Cong) raised the matter of a privilege motion moved by him against Leader of the House Arun Jaitley, saying, "he himself says this House is inferior to that House. I have given the privilege motion".
He claimed Jaitley has said that the Upper House has no right to question the bills passed in the other House and sought to know the status of his motion on the issue.
"If you have given notice, it will be examined," Kurien said.