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Veerendra Kumar, Kerala JD-U leader resigns from Rajya Sabha

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Veerendra Kumar, Kerala JD-U leader resigns from Rajya Sabha
Veerendra Kumar, Kerala JD-U leader resigns from Rajya Sabha. IANS
  • Veerendra Kumar was the chairman of the JD-U’s Kerala unit
  • JD-U leader M.P. Veerendra Kumar resigned from Rajya Sabha

New Delhi, Dec 20, 2017: Disgruntled Janata Dal-United leader M.P. Veerendra Kumar on Wednesday resigned from the Rajya Sabha, days after rebel JD-U leaders Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar were disqualified from the Upper House.

The 80-year-old, also a Kerala media baron, submitted his resignation to Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday morning, Arun Kumar Shrivastava, also a rebel JD-U leader, told IANS.

Shrivastava said Veerendra Kumar, who were elected to the Upper House from Kerala last year with support from the Congress-led UDF, resigned “so that no one questions his integrity that he is aligning with (Bihar Chief Minister and JD-U President) Nitish Kumar”.

Veerendra Kumar was the chairman of the JD-U’s Kerala unit.

Nitish Kumar’s decision to break away from the Grand Alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress in Bihar and align with the BJP-led NDA in July this year triggered rebellion in the party.

JD-U’s founder leader Sharad Yadav led the rebel faction to protest Nitish Kumar’s decision. He was disqualified from the Rajya Sabha along with Ali Anwar on December 4 “on ground of defection rules”. (IANS)

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Quota Reservation Bill Moved in Rajya Sabha

The Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill was passed after a division with 323 members voting in its favour and three against in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday

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The Rajya Sabha was adjourned till afternoon following protests by opposition members amidst a demand that the Constitution bill providing for upper castes reservation be sent to a Select Committee for detailed consideration even as the government sought to push ahead with its passage on the last day of the winter session on Wednesday.

With Lok Sabha having passed the Constitution (124th Amendment) bill providing for 10 per cent reservation for the economically weaker sections among the general category in government service and higher educational institutions, Social Justice Minister Thawarchand Gehlot moved it for consideration in the upper House.

CPI member D. Raja, who objected to the consideration of the bill, demanded that it be sent to a Select Committee and the House should first take a decision on it.

Madhusudhan Mistry of Congress said the Bill was not complete and told the government that it cannot have both introduction and voting on the same day. He asked what was the urgency in the passage of the Bill.

Members were also protesting against the “unilateral” extension of the session till Wednesday saying it was done without consulting the opposition. They said the Chair did not announce a day’s extension in the working days of the House nor did it seek the members’ consent.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel said the Congress was raising technical issues to stall the Bill. “If you openly oppose the Bill, it is different. Otherwise, let’s have a discussion on it as it has already been introduced,” he said.

Quota reservation bill moved in Rajya Sabha.

Moving the Bill, Gehlot said the Constitution does not allow reservation on economic basis and due to that poor people in general category miss out on opportunities.

“There was a complaint by poor of the general category that they could not avail of government benefits. The decision has been taken after much consideration. This bill will uplift the poor,” he said.

He appealed to the members to pass the bill unanimously. This was followed by the start of the debate by BJP member Prabhat Jha. But as shouting and uproar continued, Deputy Chairman Harivansh adjourned the House till 2 p.m.

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The Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill was passed after a division with 323 members voting in its favour and three against in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day too, the House was adjourned once up to noon after protests by members on the “unilateral” extension. (IANS)