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We'll delete this: Jagdeep Dhankar, Mallikarjun Kharge share light banter days after heated exchange
In images Jagdeep Dhankar & Mallikarjun Kharge in Rajya Sabha/ courtesy: X

We'll delete this: Jagdeep Dhankar, Mallikarjun Kharge share light banter days after heated exchange

| @indiablooms | 01 Jul 2024, 08:58 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: Two days after Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar said he was pained when Leader of the Opposition and Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge entered the well of the House to protest, the two leaders shared several light moments on Monday morning.

As he rose to speak during the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address, Kharge said he wouldn't be able to stand for long due to knee pain.

The Chairman promptly responded, "You may address (the House) while sitting."

When the 81-year-old Congress chief said that he would sit only if the Chairman permitted him to, Dhankhar said, "We have to ensure that you are comfortable while addressing the House. So if the physical disability or pain is of that extent that here and outside you are unable to stand, then you may take your own call."

To this, Kharge added with a smile that a speech while seated is not as impassioned as one delivered standing. The Chairman agreed with a 'jazba' remark as both leaders smiled.

Dhankhar then added in a light vein, "I have helped you in this case."

Kharge responded, saying: "Sometimes you help us, and we remember too." This evoked a laugh from the Chairman.

As the Congress supremo thanked the Chairman for the opportunity to take part in the debate, some members from the treasury benches started laughing.  Kharge asked why they were laughing and added, "This is how they mislead me."

This evoked another round of laughter in the House. Former UPA spokesperson Sonia Gandhi was also seen smiling. The Congress president then added, "Mr Chairman also misleads me."

Responding to this, Dhankhar quipped, "We will delete this, that I do it too." The comment made Kharge's laugh too.

This comes a few days after the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, walked into the well of the House with others to attract the attention of the Chairman, Jagdeep Dhankhar.

The act, intended to press the opposition's demand for a discussion on the matter, sparked a sharp exchange between the two leaders.

While Dhankhar said he was "shocked and pained" and claimed that a Leader of the Opposition had never walked into the well before, Kharge said he only did so as he was ignored despite raising his hands for 10 minutes.

The Chairman's "step-motherly" behaviour towards the opposition had "tainted the history of the Indian Parliament".

Amid demands for a discussion be held on the paper leaks, including that of NEET-UG- which has affected 24 lakh students- Kharge, who is also the Congress president, trooped into the well of the House with other opposition members, prompting an acerbic attack from Dhankhar.

"Today has become such a tainted day in the history of the Indian Parliament that the Leader of the Opposition has come to the well of the House. This has never happened before. I am pained, I am shocked. The Indian parliamentary tradition will deteriorate to such an extent that the Leader of the Opposition will come to the well, the Deputy Leader will come to the well," Dhankar said before adjourning the Rajya Sabha till 2 pm.

On being asked about his actions later, Kharge said he was left with no choice as Dhankhar had been ignoring him to "insult him".

"This is actually the Chairman's fault. I observed parliamentary rules and raised my hand for 10 minutes, but he did not look at me. That's when I had to go in to attract his attention but he still did not look at me.

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