Vijaysai Reddy ignorant of parliamentary dignity, laws that protect dignity of individuals


Kanna Lakshminarayana is sold to the TDP for Rs 20 crore and BJP MP Sujana Chowdary has acted as a broker in this deal – Vijaysai Reddy

Vijaysai Reddy is a Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha. Members of Parliament are expected to maintain decorum and dignity in public life, such exemplary behavior is expected at least from the Elders. While Rajya Sabha represents a crucial component of the constitutional system of checks and balances, there seems to be no check and balance on the public speeches made by Rajya Sabha members. But public utterances bordering on indecency and lack of etiquette should not come as a surprise from someone who attributed partisan motives to even the Rajya Sabha chair. Yes, we are talking about Vijaysai Reddy.

Reddy was pardoned more than once for his outbursts and unparliamentary behavior in the House. In 2008, the most striking incident was when he tropped to the podium of Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu and attributed motives to the Chair while demanding more time to speak on non-implementation of Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act. “The House should condemn it and the member concerned should regret,” Minister of State Vijay Goel demanded. Vijaysai Reddy did regret.
He had to, as he lowered the dignity of the House.

Without referring to this event in Rajya Sabha, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu suggested that political parties should have a code of conduct for their MPs and MLAs to help monitor their behaviour in Parliament and state legislatures. Naidu, who is also the Rajya Sabha chairman, suggested that political parties could include such a code in their election manifestos that would help enable voters to make their judgement before voting. Vijaysai Reddy could be pardoned for his ignorance of parliamentary conduct and etiquette, being a first time MP.

It is more than two years since he lowered the dignity of the RS Chair, Vijaysai Reddy’s public utterances continue to be equally indecent and unbecoming of a parliamentarian outside the House. Well it is known fact that it is the proximity to the party leadership is the key factor to secure RS ticket rather than understanding and reflecting the public perceptions in the state, and the capacity to ‘win’ votes in a tight race.

In the recent times, Vijaysai Reddy has lowered the dignity of his post by levelling unfounded allegations and petty charges against his political detractors to divert the attention from the corona crisis in the state. He accused the BJP State president Kanna Lakshminarayana of dancing to the tunes of the TDP and that he was making allegations against the YSRCP government without the approval of the party central leadership due to some deal struck with BJP MP Y Sujana Chowdary. “Kanna Lakshminarayana is sold to the TDP for Rs 20 crore and BJP MP Sujana Chowdary has acted as a broker in this deal,” he said defaming Kanna. Vijaysai Reddy should understand that such utterances attract defamation laws. Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code criminalises speech that is intended to cause harm to the reputation of any person. Section 500 details the punishment for defamation, making a person liable for imprisonment up to two years (with or without a fine). Vijaysai Reddy seems to be ignorant of both parliamentary dignity as well as laws that protect the dignity of individuals.

In the same press meet on Sunday, he made personal remarks against Chandrababu Naidu that he lacks family values instead of giving clarity on TDP president’s concern that the state isn’t testing enough and that the Jagan administration was under-reporting corona cases.

Vijaysai Reddy should be using his time in meeting doctors in hospitals, help the health sector employees, oversee relief works, alleviate the suffering of the homeless and those affected by the corona virus, support MSMEs and construction workers. Instead, he is wasting precious time on drafting letters to DGP Gautam Sawang to trace the IP address to nail the “culprit” behind the “forged and fake” letter. In other times, he tweets silly vitriolic comments against political detractors to score some brownie points. Sadly, he doesn’t seem to look at the very people who voted Jagan to power; he doesn’t seem to care for the people in crisis. The political dispensation owes it to the people. The kind of vitriol and vendetta politics on display is not going to get Jagan and his colleagues anywhere. For the good of the people of state, politicians especially from the ruling side should rise above their name-calling, swallow their differences and put up a unified fight against the pandemic. The CM’s daily press briefings and the press meets of his colleagues like Vijaysai Reddy on corona should not be propaganda sessions. The briefings should be transparent on corona situation in state and should not end up as “I scratch your back, you scratch mine” sessions.

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