Rajya Sabha Chaudhary Charan Singh uproar Jagdeep Dhankhar slams Mallikarjun Kharge

  • February 10, 2024

Rajya Sabha chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar came down heavily on Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday for allegedly “insulting” former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh, who was conferred Bharat Ratna on Friday. Dhankhar said he would not “tolerate any insult to Chaudhary Charan Singh”.

The development came after Kharge questioned the Speaker’s decision to let Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Jayant Chaudhary speak in the House. On Friday, the RLD announced its alliance with the BJP for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

“You virtually insulted Chaudhary Charan Singh, you insulted his legacy. You had no time for Chaudhary Charan Singh. You are hurting every farmer in the country by creating such an environment inside the House on the issue of Chaudhary Charan Singh. Our heads should go in shame,” Dhankhar told Kharge.

As soon as Jayant Chaudhary started speaking and thanked the government for honouring his grandfather, Congress members objected and Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge wanted to know the rule under which the RLD leader was allowed to speak.

“There is no debate on honouring leaders with Bharat Ratna. I salute everyone. But if a member wants to raise an issue, you (chairman) ask ‘under which rule’. (I want to know) under which rule he (Jayant Chaudhary) has been allowed to speak. Give permission to us also. On one side hand, you talk about rules…You have discretion… that discretion should be used judiciously and not when you want…,” Kharge said, leading to a huge uproar in the House.

Reacting to Kharge, Dhankhar said, “Don’t use this language. I will not tolerate insult to Chaudhary Charan Singh. He stands for impeccable public life, unimpeachable integrity, and commitment to farmers.”

Later, Kharge said it was a matter of pride and he “salutes” former prime ministers PV Narasimha Rao and Charan Singh and agriculture scientist MS Swaminathan. All three of them were conferred with Bharat Ratna by the government on Friday.

Amid the uproar, Union Minister Parshottam Rupala expressed surprise at the Congress opposing Bharat Ratna to Chaudhary Charan Singh.

Jayant Singh said he was shocked by the “disrespect” to Charan Singh being shown in the House by the Congress.

He rued that honouring a personality like Charan Singh was being seen through a political prism and was being linked to the formation of a political alliance and winning or losing elections.

“I am indebted. Only a government which is rooted to ground realities, understands the voices from the ground and strengthens them, can honour ‘Dhartiputra’ Charan Singh with Bharat Ratna,” Jayant Chaudhary said.

“I have been in the opposition for 10 years, I have been sitting on this side of this house for some time, the working style of the present government also has a glimpse of the thoughts of Chaudhary Charan Singh. When PM Modi addresses the issues of toilets in villages, when the GoI makes women empowerment its platform and creates awareness in the villages, I remember Chaudhary Charan Singh ji’s quote in it,” he said.

Leader of the House and Union Minister, Piyush Goyal, asked Leader of the Opposition Kharge to apologise to the Chair as well as the nation for his remarks.

Published By:

Vani Mehrotra

Published On:

Feb 10, 2024

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