RS no showpiece, opinion relevant, says Somnath
“Rajya Sabha cannot be a showpiece”, veteran Parliamentarian Somnath Chatterjee on Sunday said taking a dig at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over his remarks dismissing it just as an “indirectly elected House”.
Jaitley, who is also Leader of the Rajya Sabha, had remarked soon after the conclusion of the Budget session of Parliament that it is a serious question in a parliamentary democracy wherein the wisdom of a directly elected house is questioned repeatedly by the indirectly elected house.
“That is in desperation, he is saying. At present, they are facing difficulty in the Rajya Sabha... but you cannot steamroll the Rajya Sabha for all purposes,” said the octogenarian Chatterjee, who was Speaker of the Lok Sabha during 2004 to 2009. Chatterjee’s reference was to the BJP not having adequate numbers in the Upper House and was finding difficult to get bills passed there despite enjoying a majority on its own in the Lok Sabha.
“Rajya Sabha cannot be a showpiece. Its opinion is also relevant to the government. <g data-gr-id="24">Government</g> should take note of the views,” he insisted. Jaitley had said that Parliament is facing one big challenge. “I can understand in a bicameral house, once in a while an indirectly elected house questioning the wisdom of a directly elected house. This can happen once in a while, but it can’t happen bill after bill, session after session.”