Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar on Monday accused TMC member Derek O’Brien of doing “theatrics” in the House to gain publicity during a heated debate on the Delhi services bill.
Mr Dhankhar’s outburst came after the Trinamool Congress member refused to confine his speech to the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and unleashed a litany of allegations against the central government.
“This has become your habit. You are doing this as part of a strategy. You think you will enjoy publicity outside. You ravaged this House. Sit down,” the chairman told O’Brien.
“Are you here for dramatics, theatrics, is it your oath… such outsmarting never pays…Here is a member who is here for personal publicity. I take strong note of this,” a visibly upset Mr Dhankhar said.
The Chair also expunged certain remarks from the TMC member’s speech.
Participating in the debate, Mr O’Brien said, “I stand here to strongly oppose this bill. Mr Narendra Modi is a child of federalism. He was a chief minister before coming to Delhi.” He asked why would a “child of democracy mutilate democracy”.
“Why would a child of federalism come to Parliament and ensure that about one-third of the bills passed here are anti-federal,” he asked.
“Why would a child of federalism sanction Rs 40,000 crore as a special budget for higher education and give only Rs 700 crore to state universities,” he said.
He alleged that the Centre was following “transactional federalism”.
“We will oppose the bill whether you give us Rs 12,000 crore which you owe us. Transactional federalism will not work. We will hold a big rally on October 12 to press for our Rs 12,000 crore,” he said.
He said, “You are sending 160 delegations in 30 months. What do you do in BJP states…how many delegations you have sent to Uttar Pradesh, having the highest number of murders in the country, to Assam with the highest crime against women and to Madhya Pradesh with the highest crime against children.” Mr Dhankhar then asked the MP to stick to the bill in his speech but a combative O’Brien retorted, “This is a political house, we will make political points”.
Pointing towards the treasury benches, he said that they cannot be allowed a free run.
The Chair then asked him to sit down and said this kind of behaviour will not be good for anybody.
When the MP refused to relent, the Chair said, “I will not allow this theatrics.” On the BJP’s charge of dynastic politics, Mr O’Brien dared the government to bring a bill to ensure that only one member from a family can be a member of the House.
After his remark, the treasury benches started protesting and the TMC MP could not speak further.
Later after the Chair intervened, he stood up again to speak but the din continued Perturbed by the disorder in the House, the chairman was on his feet and asked O’Brien to leave the House saying that his conduct was most ignoble.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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