Winter session disruptions were ‘deliberate, strategised’: Dhankhar to Kharge; suggests

Disruptions during the Winter Session of Parliament were deliberate and strategised, Rajya Sabha Chairperson Jagdeep Dhankhar on Saturday said in a letter to Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge. Dhankhar also said he had to “painfully” suffer Kharge’s stance to “reject” his offer for interaction in the Chamber of the House which is “unwholesomely unprecedented” and “not in sync” with the well-established parliamentary practice.

Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar with Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge(PTI)

“The disorder was deliberate and strategised. I do not seek to embarrass you by indicating the predetermined role of the main opposition party in this communication but will share with you when I have the benefit of interacting with you,” Dhankhar told Kharge in the letter. He further suggested to “move ahead” and invited the Congress chief for an interaction on December 25 “or a time of your convenience” at his official residence.

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The Rajya Sabha Chairperson’s response came a day after Kharge wrote to him expressing his dismay over not being permitted to speak on the pressing matter of the security breach episode of December 13 when two persons jumped into the Chamber of Lok Sabha from the vistors’ gallery causing panic among the parliamentarians.

The incident sparked a ruckus in the following proceedings of the session with the Opposition leaders demanding a statement from Union home minister Amit Shah, which also led to a series of suspensions of MPs and a premature sine-die adjournment of the session. A total of 146 MPs–100 from Lok Sabha and 46 from Rajya Sabha–were suspended.

Kharge said in the letter, “Witnessing the suspension of members was painful, agonising, frustrating and disheartening.” “This… on such a large scale was detrimental to the core principles of India’s parliamentary democracy.”

In response, Dhankhar said the premise of suspensions was “deliberate disorder” in the House by sloganeering, raising placards, entering the well of the House and gesticulating towards the Chair. He also said before taking the “unpleasant step”, he exhausted all other means from his end including brief adjournments and seeking interactions.

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