Hyderabad: In a new twist to the row over the private member’s bill to provide special category status to Andhra Pradesh, Union Finance Minister and Leader of the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said it is a money bill and cannot be taken up for voting in the Rajya Sabha.
As the ruling party cited constitutional provisions and rules and procedure of the House, it became clear that the chances of taking up the bill for voting in the opposition-dominated Rajya Sabha are bleak.
The Finance Minister’s argument was contested by Mr Jairam Ramesh (Congress) and Mr Sitaram Yechury (CPM) who said that assent for introduction of the bill was accorded by the President in August 2015 and the House had already considered the bill; at no stage did the government object to it stating that it was a money bill.
Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurian had to rise a number of times to appeal to the agitating opposition members who insisted that the bill should be taken up for voting on Tuesday, instead of August 5 as announced earlier. He said the bill would be taken up for consideration on July 29 and the question of whether a private bill amounts to a money bill or not would be addressed by him when the House takes up the issue for discussion.
Not satisfied with the response, Congress members continued their sit-in at the podium, forcing Mr Kurian to adjourn the House for the day.
Earlier, when the Rajya Sabha resumed sitting at 4 pm, Mr Ramesh told the House that the government was not interested in taking up voting on Dr K.V.P. Ramachandra Rao’s Bill and wanted to scuttle the member's right to bring in legislation. At this stage, Mr Kurian observed, “No one told the House that it is a money Bill and cannot be taken up here.” Mr Ramesh said that it was being said that it was a money Bill.
Mr Yechury supported Mr Ramesh's stand and said that since the discussion on the bill was complete the House could take up the issue and settle it....