Venkaiah Naidu faces rare protest for biases in Rajya Sabha, accused of favouring ‘Amit bhai’

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In a rare development, Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu is set to face a formal protest by the opposition parties for his partisan role in the Upper House of the parliament.

Venkaiah Naidu
(File | PTI)

Media reports said that aside from Congress, leaders from Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party and Nationalist Congress Party had decided to write a rare protest note addressing Naidu. A report by NDTV said that this was the first time any Rajya Sabha chairman, who’s also the Vice President of India, will face such criticism for his or her questionable integrity.

This comes after a reporter tweeted on Wednesday asking if it was appropriate for Naidu, as the Rajya Sabha chairman, to address BJP President Amit Shah as Amit bhai in the parliament.

Naidu, a BJP MP, had resigned from his party to hold the constitutional posts of tVice President and the Rajya Sabha chairman. However, his integrity came under serious scrutiny after several opposition leaders protested on the Rajya Sabha website omitting certain questions asked to the government.

Two questions that had disappeared from the Rajya Sabha website were related to the amount of demonetised currency notes received by cooperative banks including one in which, the Congress says, the BJP president Amit Shah was on the board. They were restored on the website only after the Congress lodged an official protest.

The opposition will also reportedly allege that Rajya Sabha TV was being used to atatck the opposition and propagate the ruling party’s agenda.

Not too long ago, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan ahd faced criticism for biases during the no confidence debate in the parliament. Mahajan’s glaring biased role had earned her plenty of condemnation from commentators, intellectuals and journalists on social media as some wondered if she was the worst Lok Sabha Speaker India has ever had.

Earlier this week in Rajya Sabha, Amit Shah’s controversial comments on former prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi, had left the Congress MPs incensed. What compounded their anger was the conduct of Naidu, who quickly adjourned the House for 10 mins even though it was already 1 pm and he could have announce the lunch break.

In February this year, opposition parties had staged a boycott of the Rajya Sabha alleging  biases by Naidu. They had alleged that their voice was being muzzled. Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha had said, “During the Zero Hour, we are supposed to raise matters of public importance. At times, it is not possible to give prior notice. Some developments take place late evening and we are not allowed to speak. So we have boycotted the House for today to oppose this bias.”

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