NEW DELHI: Rajya Sabha’s president, M Venkaiah Naidu, today invoked the rulebook to force KVP deputy Ramachandra Rao to withdraw from the House for the rest of the day after he refused to end his protest at the well to press for a special package for Andhra Pradesh.
During the zero hour, Mr. Rao stood at the Well with a sign that said “Help fight for justice in Andhra Pradesh” right in front of Mr. Naidu’s seat.
The president repeatedly asked Mr. Rao to return to his seat saying he would not tolerate such behavior.
Some members urged the president to proceed with the business listed, but Mr. Naidu ruled that the House was not in order if only one member was in the well.
He said he had two alternatives before him: suspend the procedure or appoint the member.
The president asked Congress, Mr. Rao’s party, to persuade him to return to his seat.
The leader of the opposition and leader of the Congress, Ghulam Nabi Azad, said that his party does not approve the behavior of Mr. Rao.
Mr. Naidu repeatedly asked Mr. Rao to return to his seat and, when he refused, invoked Rule 255 of the Rules and Procedures of Rajya Sabha.
He said that rule 255 says: “The president may order any member whose behavior in his opinion is extremely disorderly to withdraw immediately from the Council and any member who so orders to withdraw will do so immediately and will be absent for the remainder of the meeting of the day ”
Mr. Naidu then ordered Mr. Rao to return to his seat or withdraw from the House deliberations for the remainder of the day.
Mr. Rao ignored his party colleagues who asked him to return to the seat. He chose to retire from the house and described the whole episode as “very unfortunate”.
Then he collected his belongings and left the house.
The house took the business listed thereafter.