NEW DELHI, India: In an unprecedented development, Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma, Vice-president of India and Chairman of Rajya Sabha offered to. Resign when some Congress (I) members refused to accept his ruling on the special mention by Telgu Desam leader Mr. Upendra on the issue of excess expenditure ‘by the Andhra Pradesh Governor Kumud Behn Joshi. But this possibility was averted when the leader ‘of the house, N.D. Tiwari regretted the happenings in the morning session and assured the chairman of fullest respect and confidence in him, The opposition groups also reaffirmed their full confidence in him, But in spite of expression of regret, earlier in the day, the ruling party and opposition members continued verbal dual on the plea of Kamlapati Tripathi to the chairman to expunge all unsavory remarks from the record. But no final decision has been taken to expunge the total or part of the remarks on this issue. Finally at the time of adjournment of house, the Chairman, Dr. Sharma said that the issue can be discussed in his chamber a little later, in the meeting of leaders of the different groups. The entire opposition was firmly opposed to the expunging of any further, remarks from the official record of the proceedings. Such an exercise would amount to stifling the press, which has already reported the issue in the morning editions. The Opposition leaders stressed upon the chairman not to yield to the pressure of the ruling party to expunge his own remarks.

Earlier in the day, When Dr. Sharma failed to control the furious ruling party members, he hinted to quit his high office. A hush fell on the emotions of the members of both sides of the house. Immediately the leaders of all the groups rushed towards the podium with folded hands requesting him not to rush through with: his threat of resignation. The concerned members were so moved with this unexpected bomb shell which the chairman exploded with the threat of resignation that everyday immediately offered to withdraw his remarks,

Later Dr. Sharma adjoined the house for lunch.

Earlier, this issue arose soon after the Prime Minister introduced his new ministerial colleagues to the house, Mr. Upendra, leader of the Telgu Desam party, raised the issue of the conduct of some of the Governors. This move sparked a tense situation. The Congress (D members stood up with anger and protested against raising of this issue. A Congress (l) member M.M. Jacob rising on the point of order, said the issue cannot be discussed without a substantive motion.

Article extracted from this publication >> March 4, 1988