'Trust me, 135 cr people are laughing at us': V-P Dhankhar as BJP, Cong members exchange heated words in RS

BJP and Congress members in Rajya Sabha exchanged heated words over "foul" remarks made by Mallikarjun Kharge.

'Trust me, 135 cr people are laughing at us': V-P Dhankhar as BJP, Cong members exchange heated words in RS

New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress members in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday (December 20, 2022) exchanged heated words over "foul" remarks made by Mallikarjun Kharge with Vice President and RS Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar urging protesting treasury bench members to return to their seats and asked Leader of House (LoH) Piyush Goyal to persuade the lawmakers to maintain decorum in the Upper House. As protests continued over Kharge's statement that while the Congress stood for the country and helped attain Independence after its leaders gave supreme sacrifices, "not even a dog of the BJP was lost" for the country, Dhankhar said that he does not "appreciate such unruly scenes and chaotic behaviour" in the House.

"This House, either side, is a platform of expression. This House has to reflect and take note of everything that happens outside. ...Everything spoken here carries a great weight. Anyone wants to take anything should take recourse to rules," he said and asked the LoH to present the point the Treasury members want to make in the House.

Soon after papers were laid in Rajya Sabha and the chairman announced that YSRCP leader V Vijay Sai Reddy and nominated member PT Usha have been nominated on the panel of vice chairman of the house, treasury bench members were up on their feet demanding an apology from the Congress president, who on Monday had alleged that the Narendra Modi-led government "talks like a lion but acts like a mouse" as it is not taking on China for indulging in incursions along the border and is running away from a debate on the issue in Parliament.

"We are setting a very bad example. ..This kind of conduct gives a bad name...Even the observations of the chair that are wholesome are indigestible. What a painful scenario we are having. Trust me, 135 crore people are laughing at us. They are concerned and think that we cannot listen to each other," Dhankhar said.

There may be a difference of opinion among members but one should not indulge in "tit for tat" like children, he said.

Earlier in the day, Piyush Goyal slammed Kharge for using "foul" language in his speech at Rajasthan's Alwar and demanded an apology from him.

"Yesterday, Opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge used foul language in his speech at Alwar. He made baseless remarks and tried to keep untruth before the nation. I strongly condemn it and demand an apology from him," Goyal said.

Kharge should seek an apology from the BJP and the House which has the maximum number of members from the saffron party, he said.

"The way he has used foul language reflected his thinking and jealousy. ....He (Kharge) may be jealous that his party is not being accepted by people. Use of such foul language is an insult of this House and all citizens," the senior BJP leader added.

He further said that after the country's Independence Mahatma Gandhi had said that the Congress should be disbanded, and Kharge's behaviour shows what the Father of the Nation had said was true.

"Kharge does not even know how to give a speech. Till he seeks apology he has no right to stay in the House," he added.

Goyal said the Congress leader has no right to make such a statement as he does not remember history. He does not recall what happened in Jammu and Kashmir, and how China took over 38,000 km land from India during their regime.

Kharge, on the other hand, said that there was no need to discuss the issue as the remarks were made in Alwar during the Bharat Jodo Yatra.

"What I had said politically was outside the House and not in the House. There is no need to discuss here," he said while maintaining that the BJP did not have any role during the country's freedom movement.

Kharge said, "If I repeat what I said outside it would be difficult for them. You are asking for an apology from those who fought for the country's Independence. They accused the Congress of holding 'Bharat Todo Yatra', to which I responded by saying that Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi gave their lives for the country. Who has given life from your side (saffron party)?"

Kharge's statement, however, evoked unruly scenes in the House.

(With agency inputs)

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