Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu has referred the privilege notice by BJP MP Bhupendra Yadav against Congress President Rahul Gandhi to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
Yadav had raised the issue of a tweet by Gandhi and said that the Congress leader had “twisted” the name of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley which was derogatory and it also amounted to misinterpretation of the proceedings of the Rajya Sabha. Jaitley is the Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha.
According to Rajya Sabha TV, Naidu concluded on examining Yadav’s notice that there was prima facie a question of privilege and referred the matter to the Speaker for further consideration.
Gandhi represents Amethi constituency in the Lok Sabha.
Yadav had moved the notice on December 28 under Rule 187, against Gandhi and urged the Chair to take notice of the alleged breach of the privilege of the the Leader of the House.
“The members of this House have dignity. The name of the Leader of the House Arun Jaitley has been intentionally published by the Congress President with malafide intentions to defame this House,” Yadav had told the Chair.
“The way his (Jaitley’s) name has been twisted by the Congress President on his Twitter handle, it comes in the category of (breach of) privilege. I request you to…issue notice to Rahul Gandhi,” he added.
Referring to a statement given by Jaitley in the House on Wednesday, Rahul Gandhi had tweeted: “Dear Mr Jaitlie (sic)- thank you for reminding India that our PM never means what he says or says what he means.”
Yadav again raised the issue of the privilege notice on Friday and the Chairman had told him that it was under his consideration.
Rahul Gandhi’s tweet came after Jaitley made a statement in the House clarifying Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s position vis-a-vis his “conspiring with Pakistan” comments against his predecessor Manmohan Singh in order to end an impasse.
“The statement (by Modi) did not question nor did he mean to question the commitment to the nation of Manmohan Singh or Hamid Ansari, the former Vice President. Any such perception is completely erroneous. We hold these leaders in high esteem as also their commitment to the nation,” Jaitley said.
The Finance Minister had made the statement as part of an understanding with the Congress over the issue that had led to stalling of the Rajya Sabha and disruptions in the Lok Sabha for several days with the party demanding an apology or explanation from Modi.
The Congress had also reciprocated by disapproving Mani Shankar Aiyar’s criticism of the Prime Minister after which the House resumed normal business.