Government cornered in Rajya Sabha, defers 2 bills
New Delhi, March 29 (IANS) It was double embarrassment for the government in Rajya Sabha when it had to defer two important bills amidst opposition protests.
The Border Security Force (Amendment) Bill and the Whistle Blowers Protection Bill could not be taken up after a united opposition demanding they be deferred.
Opposition members apprehended the BSF bill would encroach on the rights of state governments and wanted more time to move amendments on the other bill.
As Home Minister P. Chidambaram rose to introduce the BSF bill, Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley (Bharatiya Janata Party) said some its provisions should be discussed in the April 16 meeting of state chief ministers.
"There are several centre-state issues involved," Jaitley.
Supporting Jaitley, Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury said that though the home minister had promised that no decision would be taken on the issue of extending BSF operations to a particular state unless this was asked for, the bill, however, does not state this.
The demand was supported by all opposition parties in unison, even as the home minister tried to explain that the bill was needed for improving anti-Maoist operations.
"I can say with confidence about this government and knowledge of previous governments that no central government in India has deployed central forces without the request of the state government," Chidambaram said.
However, the bill was deferred amidst opposition demands.
Soon after, Minister of State for Personnel and Public Grievance V. Narayanasamy stood up to introduce the Whistle Blowers Protection Bill which was passed by Lok Sabha along with the Lokpal bill in the winter session last December.
Deputy Leader of Opposition S.S. Ahluwalia, however, suggested deferring the bill as members did not have enough time to go through it and move amendments.
The entire opposition was united on this as well even as the minister and the chair suggested the amendments could be moved Friday.
As the opposition parties continued to press for deferring the bill, Deputy Chairman K. Rahman Khan adjourned the house for the day.
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