Raghav Chadha found himself in the middle of a big controversy as five Rajya Sabha MPs on Monday demanded to move a Privilege Motion against the Aam Aadmi Party MP alleging that their “forged signatures” were added to the proposed select committee on the Delhi Services Bill without their consent.
Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh announced a probe into the complaints. The select committee was proposed by Raghav Chadha in the Upper House to examine the bill.
Responding to the allegations, Chadha said, “Let a privilege committee send me a notice. I will give my answer to the committee.”
Chadha’s amendment to send the contentious bill to a select committee was negated by a voice vote. The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023 seeks to replace an ordinance on the handling of transfers and postings of officials in the Delhi government.
Five MPs, who claimed their names were listed in the proposed select committee without their consent, are S Phangnon Konyak, Narhari Amin and Sudhanshu Trivedi of the BJP, M Thambidurai of the AIADMK and Sasmit Patra of the BJD.
Who said what on Raghav Chadha?
1. After the deputy chairman read out the names to be included in the proposed select committee, Union home minister Amit Shah informed that five members have complained that their names were included without their signatures in the proposal moved by the AAP leader. He demanded that this issue be investigated. Terming it a breach of privilege of the House, Shah said the matter should be referred to the privileges committee.
“Who all have signed on their behalf is a subject of investigation,” Shah said and requested the Chair to record the statements of the complainant members. “Who all have signed on their behalf is a subject of investigation,” Shah said and requested the Chair to record the statements of the complainant members.
2. YSRCP MP Vijay Sai Reddy claimed one of its party member’s names was also included by Chadha without his consent.
“AAP MP Raghav Chadha has made certain comments and we have countered them. Before a resolution is moved, members, whose names are included in it, have to be consulted. But Raghav Chadha included one of our party members’ names in the proposed select committee on the Delhi Services Bill without holding prior consultations with him. So, some of the members, including our MP, have decided to move for a privilege motion against Raghav Chadha,” Reddy said.
3. BJD’s Sasmit Patra told news agency ANI, “At the time when resolutions were being moved in the House (during the discussion on the Delhi Services Bill), I learned that my name was mentioned in a resolution moved by Raghav Chadha. How could he put my name in the resolution without my consent? I hope the Chairman of the House will take action. I have tendered a complaint. Obviously, this is a matter of privilege. All of us have filed our complaints individually.”
4. BJP’s Narhari Amin said, Raghav Chadha included my name in the select committee. He did not hold prior consultations with me and neither did I give my consent to this. What he did was wrong. I did not even put my signature on any document.”
5. Thambidurai said he has already written to Rajya Sabha chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar, seeking his intervention in the matter. “I have written to the Rajya Sabha Chairman requesting that the matter be taken up by the privilege committee. How was my name included in the motion, as I had not signed on any document? It’s likely that my signature was forged,” the AIADMK MP said.
6. Parliamentary affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said, “I want to ask the Congress if they are supporting people (AAP) who are forging. Strict disciplinary action will be taken against this. A motion will be moved against the member. Union Home Minister has given a detailed answer on the bill.”
7. Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri said, “In my six years as a minister or the 30-40 years that I have been watching Parliament and covering it as a civil servant, I have never seen something like this happen…This should be seriously enquired.”
8. Congress MP Shakti Singh Gohil, however, said, “…There is a law that if I am moving (the proposal to send Delhi NCT Amendment Bill to select committee), there is no compulsion to take consent of the member who has to be in the committee. If the member does not want to be on the committee, their name will be removed automatically. There is no provision to take the signature of any member whose name has been mentioned in the proposal.”
(With inputs from PTI, ANI)