New Delhi: Ruling party members on Wednesday participated in the proceedings of the Rajya Sabha while remaining standing to express solidarity with Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar after a TMC MP mimicked him in Parliament premises The treasury benches participated in the Question Hour proceedings while standing for about ten minutes.
Among those seen standing were Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Transport minister Nitin Gadkari and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi.
A political row broke out on Tuesday after Trinamool Congress leader Kalyan Banerjee derisively mimicked Dhankhar during the opposition’s protest on the stairs of Parliament against the MPs’ suspension, drawing strong condemnation from the ruling BJP.
The BJP also attacked the opposition over Congress leader Rahul Gandhi making a video of the performance by Banerjee.
As soon as the House resumed at noon, Joshi said, “In protest against the action of their party’s former president (Rahul Gandhi) and in your honour and in honour of the Constitution, we would participate in the Question Hour while remaining standing in silence. We request for your permission”.
“We strongly condemn how Rahul Gandhi insulted you and your constitutional position. To tarnish a particular community and section of society is not right,” he said.
“As far as I have seen, this is the first time they have fallen to this level and there is no end to this. We strongly condemn this.They have been insulting people at constitutional positions,” Joshi said.
The minister said for 20 years they “insulted” the prime minister because he comes from a poor family and belongs to the OBC background. They kept on “insulting” him even after he became the prime minister, he said.
“Then they insulted the President of India who is a tribal. And now they have insulted the Vice President of India, who is a farmer’s son and hails from the Jat community.
“For the first time a farmer’s son and ‘Jat-putra’ reached this level and they have insulted this post of the vice president of India. I want to make it clear that India will not tolerate the insult of the vice president and India will not tolerate the insult of the Constitution,” he asserted amid slogan-shouting by members of the treasury benches.
The minister said the President and Lok Sabha Speaker have also condemned the act of insulting the vice president.
He said several big people in different fields have condemned this and “we too strongly condemn this insult”.
As members of treasury benches stood in honour of the chair, opposition members raised slogans demanding that the home minister come to the House and make a statement on the Parliament security breach issue.
After the ruling party members stood for about 10 minutes during Question Hour, the Chairman asked them to resume their seats, saying he was touched by the gesture.
“I am greatly touched by your gesture. I do not represent an individual. I am custodian of an institution and I am accountable to it. Any affront to the institution, the position that I hold, I have to be a protector of it,” he said. “Your gesture of standing has really touched my heart. I would request you to kindly take your seats and we will proceed with the proceedings of the House. Kindly resume your seats,” Dhankhar said.