Weaponising disruption won’t be accepted, says Dhankhar

Times of India, September 19, 2023

NEW DELHI: Rajya Sabha chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar on Monday asked opposition parties how long they planned to keep justifying disrupting the House citing past precedent, and said the strategy of “weaponising disruption and disturbance” would never be accepted by the people.

“There is enough takeaway from this for us all. Healthy debate is the hallmark of a blossoming democracy. We must eschew confrontational posturing. We all are constitutionally ordained to nurture democratic values and must justify and vindicate the trust of the people,” Dhankar said.

During the discussion, leader of opposition Mallikarjun Kharge said with disruptions, his party was only following the example of late BJP leaders Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj when they were in opposition.

Quoting Jaitley, Kharge said, “The job of Parliament is to discuss. Whenever issues are ignored, creating obstacles is in the interest of the public system. Therefore, parliamentary obstruction cannot be called undemocratic.” He added, “Swaraj too had said in Lok Sabha,’not allowing Parliament to function is also a form of democracy in other words’.”

Kharge added, “When we are doing the same, we are attacked.” To this, Dhankar responded, “After thinking carefully, tell me, how long will we continue to disturb the House based on past precedent? How long will we justify the disturbance?”

Kharge began his speech with a couplet, “If you want to change, then change the situation, what happens by changing the name? If you have to give employment to the youth, what happens by making everyone unemployed? If you can’t do anything then leave your chair, what is the point of threatening others? You are proud of your rule, what is the point of intimidating people?”

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