Rajya Sabha Chairman's 'tainted day' remark on Mallikarjun Kharge's NEET uproar

Mallikarjun Kharge, along with other opposition leaders, entered the Well of the Rajya Sabha to join the protest demanding a discussion over alleged irregularities in NEET-UG exams in the Upper House.
Rajya Sabha Chairman's 'tainted day' remark on Mallikarjun Kharge's NEET uproar
Anjali Raj / Jaano Junction

The Rajya Sabha on Friday witnessed an intense war of words between Chairman Jagdeep Dhankar and Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge as the opposition parties continued with their demand for an immediate discussion over the alleged irregularities in NEET-UG exams.

The Upper House witnessed three adjournments due to protests and sloganeering by the opposition parties, with several MPs, including Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge walking into the Well of the House.

The Rajya Sabha Chairman expressed his anguish over Kharge's conduct, saying it is for the first time that a Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha has entered into the Well to disrupt the House proceedings.

Dhankhar remarked that the act of coming into the Well by a leader of the opposition has happened for the first time in history, making it a "tainted day".

"I am pained and surprised that Indian parliamentary tradition will stoop to such low that the leader of the opposition will troop into the Well," he said, before adjourning the proceedings till 2 pm.

Later again, he referred to the incident.

"The kind of conduct, ignoble conduct, a conduct that will hurt every Indian, will put this institution to shame. We are here elected, get the prestige of being members of the upper house, the house of elders. If in this House we conduct ourselves in this unruly manner, it is most unfortunate," the Chairman said.

Later speaking to reporters outside Parliament, Mallikarjun Kharge justified the act and pointed out that he did so to draw the attention of the Speaker since he was not allowed to speak and his mic was switched off by the Chairman.

The Congress president also blamed Dhankar for repeated adjournment of Rajya Sabha sessions and said that the Chairman should maintain the dignity of the Upper House.

"It is his (Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar's) mistake. I went inside to draw his attention. But even then he was not looking... I was drawing attention. He was only looking at the ruling party. When I draw his attention as per the rules, he should look at me, but instead, he deliberately ignored me to insult me. So what was left for me? So to draw attention I would have to either go inside or shout very loudly," Kharge said.

"I will definitely say that it was Chairman sahab's mistake. I say that he should not do this and should maintain the dignity of this Rajya Sabha. There have been such big scams, NEET exam, the paper has been leaked, lakhs of children are worried. So to draw attention to the problem of people, we asked for a specific discussion. We did not want to disturb anyone, we only wanted to raise the issues of the students. But, he did not give it a chance, did not even pay attention to it and that is why we had to do this," the senior Congress leader added.

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Rajya Sabha Chairman's 'tainted day' remark on Mallikarjun Kharge's NEET uproar

The House later took up the discussions on the motion of the thanks before adjourning for the day around 6 pm. Rajya Sabha will meet again at 11 am on Monday.

Source: India Today

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