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Kharge Writes to Naidu for Expunging Remarks by Sitharaman, Goyal on Sonia in RS; Demands Apology from Ministers

PTI

Last Updated: July 29, 2022, 18:58 IST

Delhi, India

Kharge also demanded that the ministers should tender their apology for violating the conventions of the House. (File photo/News18)

Kharge also demanded that the ministers should tender their apology for violating the conventions of the House. (File photo/News18)

The senior Congress leader said even the question of privilege cannot be raised directly in one house against members of the other House

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Friday wrote to Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, requesting him to expunge the remarks made by Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal on Sonia Gandhi in the House. Kharge also demanded that the ministers should tender their apology for violating the conventions of the House.

His letter came a day after Sitharaman and Goyal attacked Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury for his "rashtrapatni" remark while referring to President Droupadi Murmu. Both the ministers also hit out at Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and demanded an apology from her. In his letter, Kharge said as per Parliamentary practices and conventions critical remarks should not be made on the other House or members of the other House. He also cited a ruling made by former RS Chairman R Venkataraman on April 15, 1987, wherein he observed that "No person who is not a member of this House can be referred to in the House in a derogatory manner or in any other way affecting his reputation".

The senior Congress leader said even the question of privilege cannot be raised directly in one house against members of the other House. In this regard, he said, a procedure has been laid down based on a report of Joint Sitting of Committees of Privileges of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha which was presented to both Houses on August 23, 1954, and later adopted by the Houses in December 1954.

"As per this procedure, when a question of breach of privilege or contempt of the House is raised in either of the House in which a member, officer, or servant of the other House is involved, the procedure followed is that the Presiding Officer of the House in which the question of privilege is raised, refers the case to the Presiding Officer of the other House", Kharge said. He said he mentioned this procedure to emphasise the sanctity of sovereignty of each House of Parliament and its members. "Hence mentioning and making remarks in regard to a member of the Lower House in the Upper House is a gross violation of the time-honored conventions. Needless to mention, as Chairman of this august House, your good self would appreciate the need for adherence to well-established Parliamentary conventions and practices," he said.

"In view of my aforementioned submissions, I request you to kindly expunge the remarks made by Sitharaman and Goyal vis-a-vis Smt Sonia Gandhi in the House yesterday, 28 July 2022. I also request that they tender their apology for their violation of sacrosanct conventions of the House," Kharge said in his letter. On Thursday, the row over Chowdhury's "rashtrapatni" remark escalated with the opposition party accusing BJP MPs of subjecting its president to "brutal heckling, verbal assault and physical intimidation" in the Lok Sabha.

Demanding an apology from the Congress president, the finance minister had said Sonia Gandhi appointed Chowdhury as the leader in Lok Sabha to speak and he had insulted the President.

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first published:July 29, 2022, 18:58 IST
last updated:July 29, 2022, 18:58 IST