Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha
Ghulam Nabi Azad, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha

Oppn parties accuse BJP of manipulating ballot paper voting on RTI Bill

ANI | Updated: Jul 25, 2019 22:28 IST

New Delhi [India], July 25 (ANI): Rajya Sabha on Thursday witnessed chaos and uproar as Opposition parties accused BJP of manipulating ballot papers during the voting on the Right to Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019. BJP too targeted its political rivals for levelling 'baseless accusation' questioning the authenticity of the Bill.
As the voting was going on, the House witnessed some unruly scenes with the Deputy Chairman Harivansh repeatedly urging the members to maintain order in the House.
During the voting process, the Opposition led by Congress staged a walkout alleging the government of "killing" democracy and the institutions.
Congress Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad accused the treasury benches members of intimidating the opposition members, before walking out of the House.
"Don't make the parliament a government department. They are killing democracy. We don't have any faith on this government," he said.
Following this, BJP spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP GVL Narasimha Rao took to Twitter to take a jibe at Opposition led by Congress for walking out of the Upper House and said their silly and baseless accusation questioning Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and recent Lok Sabha mandate portray them as "bad and arrogant losers".
"Opposition including INC India walked out of Rajya Sabha on RTI bill because they lacked the numbers. Only 75 MPs voted to send the bill to Select Committee. Leader of Opposition's Ghulam Nabi Azad silly and baseless accusations questioning today's vote and 2019 mandate show them as bad and arrogant losers," GVL Narasimha Rao tweeted.
Soon after the Bill was passed by the House, TMC MP Derek O'Brien said that RTI Right to Information became RTI 'Right to Intimidation'.
"In the larger interest of democracy, Rajya Sabha TV should air all footage of what transpired in the House today while voting to send the RTI Bill to a Parliament committee. RTI Right to Information became RTI Right to Intimidation. Did the same tactics get BJP 303 seats!" Brien tweeted.
He even said that a BJP MP CM Ramesh was caught red-handed while he was trying to manipulate ballot papers and urged Rajya Sabha TV to share video footage recorded on multi-cameras.
"Ref earlier tweet on voting in RS today on RTI Bill. BJP MP caught red-handed trying to manipulate; had multiple ballot papers with him. He was influencing MPs distributing and collecting ballot papers Shame Appeal to Rajya Sabha TV to share video footage recorded on multi-cameras," he said.
Responding to Opposition allegations, BJP MP CM Ramesh said that the opposition parties don't have numbers, they knew they were going to lose and this is why they are "putting blame" on him.
Rao's response comes hours after the Rajya Sabha passed the controversial RTI (Amendment) Bill, 2019 amidst uproarious scenes after an acrimonious debate and rejection of a strong opposition demand for referring to a select committee for detailed scrutiny.
The Bill seeks to empower the Centre to make rules to decide the tenure, salary, allowances and other terms of service of Information Commissioners of the Central Information Commission and also of State Information Commissions. (ANI)