Ansari clarifies on 'federation of anarchists' remark

New Delhi, Aug 14 (ANI): A day after facing flak from Members of the Rajya Sabha over his controversial 'federation of anarchists' remark, a calm Chairman, Mohammad Hamid Ansari, said on Wednesday that he would like to host a meeting of party leaders to review Rajya Sabha procedures.

"My personal view is that, I would like to make this admission to the house, and particularly party leaders, it is time to review our practices and rules," Ansari said.

"I would like to convene as early as possible a meeting of the leaders so we have a frank practical discussion about how the rules need to be amended if they need to be amended," he added.

As a peace offering Ansari also said he would ask the Rajya Sabha secretariat to review the record they have of his statement made yesterday.

Ansari's clarification and apeal for resumption of House business came after members, cutting across party lines, objected to the hint that they are anarchists.

Earlier, when the Upper House assembled at 11 a.m., Ansari defined the word 'anarchists' which he had used yesterday.

He said it is a word that is commonly used in law-making bodies in other parts of the world, and that its use in the Upper House of the Indian Parliament, was not entirely wrong or inappropriate.

Agitated by repeated disruptions, Ansari had yesterday wondered whether members wished the House to become a 'federation of anarchists'.

Members had then demanded the remark's withdrawal and the government asked for expunging it.

Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said, "There was innuendo in the question that you posed (federation of anarchists). Please don't allow the word to be part of the records."

Jaitley reiterated: "We have the highest regard for you. There are precedents when things said in heat of the moment. Anarchy is complete chaos; in the house opinions are expressed... We urge you to consider setting the record straight as far as the word anarchism is considered."

In rare support of the BJP leader, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) member Sitaram Yechury added: "I wasn't present when you made the comment, but if the house has taken it this way, then you should rectify it."

Former minister M.S. Gill said: "If you are touchy about your honour, you have to respect honour of the MPs too.

Ansari's agitated remark came soon after BJP members started shouting slogans on the land issue related to Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Congress members were also on their feet, countering the BJP attack. TDP members displayed shirts with slogan 'Save Andhra Pradesh, Save Democracy' in protest against decision to carve out a separate Telangana state.

Ansari pleaded with the members to allow Question Hour while asking them to resume their seats.

As the din continued, Ansari said, "Every single rule in the rule book, every single etiquette is being violated...If the Hon'ble members wish the House to become a federation of anarchists, then it is a different matter."

On Wednesday, however, after allowing members to give their different responses and reactions to his statement, Ansari said that chair is not the government, nor is it on the side of the government, but was and will continue to act as a referee would in a football or a hockey match, to ensure that proceedings in the House are smooth and decorous.

"There is a rule book, and red and yellow cards are given out," he added.

"Can I now beg your indulgence to have the Question Hour?" Ansari asked, and for 15 minutes, perhaps for the first time in months, questions were placed and answered on the floor of the Rajya Sabha. (ANI)