‘Won’t tolerate’: Jagdeep Dhankhar to Kharge over alleged insult to Charan Singh

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Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar came down heavily on Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday and alleged he insulted former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh, for whom Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a Bharat Ratna on Friday. Dhankhar also said he ‘will not tolerate 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.

“You virtually insulted Chaudhary Charan Singh, you insulted his legacy. You had no time for Bharat Ratna 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 and other Congress leaders in the House.

As soon as Singh started thanking the government for the honour in Rajya Sabha, 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 Singh) has been allowed to speak. Give permission to us also. On one side 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.

The Congress chief also accused the chairman of not following the rules.

As the Chairman tried to bring order in the House, he 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 is a matter of pride and he “salutes” former prime ministers PV Narasimha Rao and Charan Singh and agriculture scientist MS Swaminathan, all of whom are being conferred with Bharat Ratna.

Amid 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 is being seen through a political prism and is 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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