The rumor surrounding the Jayant Chaudhary-led RLD joining the NDA and the consternation this has caused in the troubled INDIA alliance spread to Parliament on Saturday, sparking an intense exchange between Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and the Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar.
When Dhankhar appeared to accuse the Congress of “insulting” a Bharat Ratna beneficiary, Kharge lost his cool and asked the vice president not to indulge in politics. The vice president then replied: “The fact that he comes from the farming community does not mean that he is a weak president. I have tolerated a lot.”
The exchange began after Jayant Chaudhary, whose party is a member of the INDIA alliance, came up in Rajya Sabha and began thanking the BJP-led NDA government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for announcing that the Bharat Ratna would be conferred posthumously. to his grandfather Chaudhary. Charan Singh. Congress leaders objected to the speech and Dhankhar then asked Kharge to “control his people or get up and address the House”.
Prefacing his comments with the statement that he and the Congress were happy that former Prime Ministers Narasimha Rao and Chaudhary Charan Singh, and the father of the Green Revolution, Dr MS Swaminathan, received the Bharat Ratna, and that he “saluted ” to all three personalities – Mr. Kharge wondered how Mr. Chaudhary was allowed to speak on this issue.
‘Use discretion wisely’
“Whenever we want to discuss something, we are always asked under what rule we should be allowed to do so. I want to ask them the same question: under what rule was he (Mr Chaudhary) allowed to speak? If this is the way things stand, things, you should always give us permission too. On one hand, you talk about rules, and on the other, you allow whoever you want (to speak),” Mr. Kharge said in Hindi.
The Congress chief, who is also the leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha, added: “You have discretion, but you have to use that discretion very judiciously, not as and when you want.”
The Rajya Sabha Chairman then interrupted Mr. Kharge and said, “The way your people… When there was a discussion about giving Chaudhary Charan Singh the Bharat Ratna… I don’t want to use words.”
Outraged, Mr. Kharge thundered: “Don’t play politics (sic). I said we salute all the people who have worked for this country. Irrespective of political parties. Irrespective of caste and creed. We salute them. But the way that the discussion is taking place “It is happening, they are neither following the rules nor have they brought that agenda up for discussion. “We could all have participated.”
“But that wasn’t done. That’s not fair. That’s not good. If you want to continue, you have to follow the rule,” he said.
‘You have hurt my heart’
After an uproar, Mr. Dhankhar retorted: “Just because I come from the farming community doesn’t mean I am a weak president. I have tolerated a lot. You say whatever you want about me, you don’t follow precedent… “You use any language against me. “Sometimes you act like a teacher, like I’m a student.”
“This moment is delicate. You have hurt my heart,” he said.
The Rajya Sabha chairman said he has heeded the requests of many members to honor ISRO scientists and others who have brought laurels to the nation “without looking at any rules”.
“Now the opposition leader is asking me under what rule do I want someone to appreciate Bharat Ratna and Chaudhary Charan Singh. The rule is on me (sic),” he said.
When Mr Kharge interrupted, Mr Dhankhar said: “Do not use this language, sir. I will not tolerate an insult to Chaudhary Charan Singh… He stands for an impeccable public life and unwavering commitment to farmers.”