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'Don't bring in Varna system,' says Kharge after Dhankhar asks Jairam Ramesh to replace former as Rajya Sabha LoP

'I think you should replace Kharge. You are so intelligent, so gifted, so talented. You should immediately come and take the seat in place of Kharge. By and large, you are doing his job,' Dhankhar said to Ramesh amid protests from the Congress MPs.
Last Updated : 02 July 2024, 10:31 IST

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New Delhi: Rajya Sabha on Tuesday once again saw a war of words between Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge after the former chided senior Congress MP Jairam Ramesh and sarcastically said that he should now assume the seat of the latter.

The exchange happened when Congress Deputy Leader of Opposition Pramod Tewari was participating in the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President's Address and Dhankhar ordered expunction of certain remarks. Ramesh then said Tewari will authenticate the claims he made, to which Dhankhar said he thinks that he should replace Kharge.

"I think you should replace Kharge. You are so intelligent, so gifted, so talented. You should immediately come and take the seat in place of Kharge. By and large, you are doing his job," Dhankhar said amid protests from the Congress MPs.

Kharge immediately retorted, "don't bring Varna system. It (varna system) is still in your mind...that is why you are saying Ramesh is very intelligent...and I am dull so that I should be replaced," Kharge, who belongs to Dalit community, said.

Dhankhar immediately said that was not correct and Kharge did not understand what he said. "What did I say? You are in the front row. You have a political career of 56 years. (But) on all occasions, Jairam Ramesh makes some comments. There is a problem which you will have to solve," he said.

To this, Kharge pointed to Congress MP Sonia Gandhi who was sitting near him, and said that it was she who made him what he is now and "not Jairam Ramesh or you...the people have made me."

Dhankhar said he did not want to get into who made him but added, "you (Kharge) cannot every time run down the Chair. You cannot disrespect the Chair every time. You stand up and say anything and you don't understand what I am saying. Never in the history of Parliamentary democracy and Rajya Sabha proceedings, has there been such disregard of Chair as from you."

The Chairman said it was time for Kharge to reflect and that the Leader of the Opposition twisted an issue which he raised. "Your image is being sullied by (those sitting) behind. I am trying to save your image," he added.

On Monday too, Kharge and Congress MPs had a run in with the Chairman over expunging remarks of the Leader of the Opposition

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Published 02 July 2024, 10:31 IST

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