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Customary session eve meet pointer to what lies in store

Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar and a few Opposition floor leaders engaged in arguments at the customary session eve meeting on Sunday at his residence that was also attended by House leader Piyush Goyal, it is leant.

It is learnt that some Opposition leaders complained that Dhankhar repeatedly “interrupted” or “prevented” them from speaking in the session’s first half while they tried to raise issues including the Adani matter and urged him to allow discussion this time on the “misuse of investigating agencies” against Opposition leaders. Sanjay Raut (Shiv Sena-U) said “I myself am a victim of ED” and asked why the House can’t raise the issue, even as Sanjay Singh (AAP) and K Keshava Rao (BRS) said they would raise the issue of raids on their leaders and the Chair should allow it.

As per some participants, Dhankhar in response said that many Opposition MPs’ conduct was unruly and they didn’t adhere to rules. He said how Sonia Gandhi during a speech in the Central Hall made insinuations against him vis-a-vis SC judges, the participants said, adding Dhankhar insisted issues can be raised only as per rules.

Jairam Ramesh (Congress) told Dhankhar that the latter used his speeches outside Parliament to criticise “three Congress leaders”. Many feel he was referring to Dhankhar’s recent comments on Sonia and Rahul Gandhi. CPI-M’s Elamaram Kareem pointed out that Sonia was addressing a Congress meeting and wondered why Dhankhar should respond to it, it is leant. Karim and Binoy Viswam (CPI) asked why Dhankhar didn’t allow discussion on the Adani issue and asked whether it would be allowed this time. Dhankhar responded by saying that ‘discussion was allowed for four Hours’, a reference to the debate on the motion of thanks.

Dhankar also hosted RS Opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge. “…We as Opposition parties are keen to play a constructive role in making the government accountable and would want discussion on every burning issue…,” Kharge tweeted.

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