Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar on Wednesday refused to restore the expunged parts of Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge’s speech in the House on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address.
During the Zero Hour, Mr Kharge, the leader of the opposition (LoP) in the Upper House of Parliament, said two pages from his February 2 speech were removed, leading to distortion of intent.
“I register my strong objection…I would like to request you to restore the expunged part in the House proceedings,” Mr Kharge said. He also gave a written note to the chairman on the matter.
Chairman Dhankhar said he would look into it and give his ruling during the course of the day. He also said there is a book on “unparliamentary words”.
“I have received a written communication from the leader of the opposition. I have gone through it. I will give my ruling on it,” he said.
Later in the day, Chairman Dhankhar said that Mr Kharge in his written communication had raised four points that were expunged.
He said one was with respect to a word that has been hailed as an unparliamentary expression.
As regard to the other three points, there was a directive from the Chair at the moment that the same would not go on record, Chairman Dhankhar said.
The chairman said that the LoP had made an observation in his speech that “You (ruling party BJP) have so much majority. Earlier, you had 334 seats and your numbers reaching beyond 400”.
“I checked the audio and video of the same. He said so on the floor of the House,” Chairman Dhankhar said.
Mr Kharge made this remark in the House at 2.36 pm on February 2 and concluded his address nearly 50 minutes thereafter, the chairman said and added that the LoP had sufficient time to revisit his thoughts.
“The perceptional impact of any observation made in the House cannot be the premise for the Chair to revisit the reflection made thereon. It cannot be a premise for taking a different view as per rules,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Chairman Dhankhar said the House would meet on Saturday (February 10) in order to complete essential government business. There will be no Zero Hour and Question Hour on Saturday.
According to the original schedule, Friday would have been the last day of the ongoing Budget session.