When Jagdeep Dhankhar is in charge of the House

When Jagdeep Dhankhar is incharge of the House

When Jagdeep Dhankhar is incharge of the House

Examining the duties and authority of the Rajya Sabha Chairman in light of Congress’ accusations that the Vice President is “replying on behalf of the government” and going beyond the bounds of his authority

House Chairman and Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar was a vocal interjector as Opposition Leader in the Rajya Sabha and President of the Congress Mallikarjun Kharge Wednesday attacked the government of India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the allegations against the Adani Group.

Congress MPs questioned how the Rajya Sabha Chairman could respond on the government’s behalf while Dhankhar continually interrupted Kharge.

BJP MPs protested Kharge’s request to form a joint parliamentary committee to investigate the issue, so Dhankhar spoke up to urge that the Rajya Sabha should only be utilised to voice opinions that are “in the national interest.”

When Jagdeep Dhankhar is in charge of the House
When Jagdeep Dhankhar is in charge of the House

Kharge asserted that no one was more patriotic than he was: “I am more patriotic than any of you… As a bhoomiputra, I (son of the soil). It’s me, Mool Bharati.

Jairam Ramesh, a Congress MP, requested that the Chairman strike Kharge’s comments as well as those of the other opposition members who had also objected to them.

Kharge mentioned the Hindenburg Report, which accused the Adani Group of stock manipulation and fraud, and questioned how its wealth had “seen a growth by 13 times.” Dhankhar requested Kharge to “authenticate” his assertions. He declared, “I can’t let anyone utilise this platform for a freefall of information without verifying and presenting documentation.

“Can we do anything based on such reports?” the Chairman said. “Just because any news originates from anywhere in the world… You’re granting everyone (on the planet) the right to examine our institutions (in India) for themselves.

Kharge questioned the Modi administration as to why it was pushing the Adani Group, which has a much smaller workforce than the public sector. Dhankhar responded once more. He claimed that India had a strong framework in place to prevent any illegitimate contracts from being given to any agency. According to senior sources both inside and outside the nation, Parliament shouldn’t be used to criticise our robust, transparent, and accountable system, he said.

Jairam Ramesh, a congressman, was overheard saying, “You cannot speak for the administration.”

Authority and duties of the Chairman

According to the Rajya Sabha website, the Vice-President or Chairman of the Rajya Sabha “is the undisputed custodian of the honour and dignity of the House.” He serves as the House’s main spokesperson and speaks for the body as a whole to the outside world. He makes sure that the applicable constitutional provisions, regulations, procedures, and conventions are followed throughout House deliberations. He “ensures that Members’ rights to ask questions and receive full replies is adequately protected and renders decisions on privilege matters and other procedural points” as part of his duties.

The regulations continue, “The Chairman is not required to provide justification for his judgements. The Chairman’s decisions are final, and any protest against the Chairman’s decision is considered a breach of the House’s decorum.

A Role in House Deliberations

The rules in this regard provide that the Chairman “does not participate in the proceedings of the House save in the fulfilment of his functions as the Presiding Officer. However, he is permitted to address the House whenever a point of order is raised or on his own, with the goal of aiding members in their discussions.

Maintaining order in the house

This is referred to in the rules as “the fundamental duty of the Chairman,” and it is stated further that “he has been invested with all the necessary disciplinary powers under the rules for the purpose, such as checking irrelevance or repetition in a member’s speech, intervening when a member makes an unwarranted or defamatory remark by asking him to withdraw the same. The Chairman may also direct the removal from the record of any improper or disrespectful language used during the discussion or direct that nothing uttered by a member without his consent be recorded. He may order any member who has behaved disorderly to leave the House and designate a member for suspension.

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