Rajya Sabha defers bills as mark of respect to Sushma
New Delhi: Mourning the demise of BJP leader and former Union Minister Sushma Swaraj, the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday deferred some bills including one that seeks to remove the Congress President as a member of the trust running the Jallianwala Bagh memorial.
The House, however, returned the bill seeking to increase the number of judges in the Supreme Court to the Lok Sabha without discussion.
The money bill passed by the Lower House seeks to increase the strength of the apex court from 30 to 33. The main opposition Congress agreed to it with the rider that a discussion on it will be held later.
As soon as the House assembled, Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu made obituary reference to Sushma Swaraj and members observed silence to pay their respects.
Following this, Culture and Tourism Minister of State Prahalad Singh Patel proposed to pass the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill without discussion as a mark of respect to Sushma Swaraj but the Congress opposed this.
Congress leader Anand Sharma suggested it be deferred until discussion take place as and when the House meets next.
He objected to the key provision in the bill that removes the Congress President as a trustee of the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial.
The Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the sky would not fall if the bill was taken up two or three months later.
Anand Sharma said one should not be unfair to a party that led the freedom movement, and urged the government to have a big heart.
But Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi insisted on passing the bill without discussion. In case the Congress was not ready for it, the discussion could be held and voted in the House.
With the House divided over the issue, the bill was deferred taking the views of various party leaders.
The other bills which were deferred are the Dam Safety Bill, 2019 and the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019.
The Rajya Sabha was on Wednesday adjourned sine die.