Rajya Sabha Chairman Dhankhar writes to Mallikarjun Kharge, says disruptions unfortunate

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File photo of Rajya Sabha Chairman and Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankar.

File photo of Rajya Sabha Chairman and Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankar.
| Photo Credit: ANI

Rendering the House dysfunctional by making a demand to the Chair that cannot be acceded is unfortunate and against public interest, Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar is learnt to have said in a letter to Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge.

Mr. Dhankhar has written to Mr. Kharge stating that the Congress leader’s refusal to meet him during the Winter session of Parliament was not in sync with parliamentary practices and has also sought an interaction with him, sources said on December 22.

Also read: INDIA bloc protests suspension of Opposition MPs, Kharge says democracy under threat 

This comes a day after the Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die on December 21, a day ahead of schedule.

The Upper House witnessed repeated protests by Opposition MPs who were demanding a discussion on the December 13 Parliament security breach and a statement by Home Minister Amit Shah on the issue.

The protests led to the suspension of 46 MPs from the House for the session. A breach of privilege notice was moved against Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien and the matter was referred to the Privileges Committee.

Citing the letter, the sources said Mr. Dhankhar expressed “pain” that his efforts to hold a meeting with Mr. Kharge to ensure smooth functioning of the House could not find the Congress leader’s favour.

Interaction with the presiding officer is of high priority as per the parliamentary mechanism, Mr. Dhankhar said.

He also said that he looks forward to an interaction with the leader of opposition for a healthy way forward.

The three frenetic weeks of the Parliament’s Winter session saw a security breach in the Lok Sabha, suspension of 146 MPs and the expulsion of Trinamool Congress member Mahua Moitra in the “bribe-for-query” case.

The session, which began on December 4, saw both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha running largely peacefully for the first week but things changed after December 13.

On the anniversary of the 2001 Parliament attack, two people jumped into the chamber of the Lok Sabha from the public gallery during Zero Hour, released yellow smoke from canisters and shouted slogans before being overpowered by some of the MPs.

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