Jaya Bachchan demands respect from VP Dhankar, says ‘we are not school children’

| Updated: 07 February, 2024 4:21 pm IST

NEW DELHI: In a recent session of the Rajya Sabha, a remark made by the Chairman, Jagdeep Dhankhar, sparked a heated exchange with Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan, who strongly retorted and asserted that members should be treated with respect and not as schoolchildren.

The commotion arose during the Question Hour when a question related to aviation was skipped. Jaya Bachchan, along with Congress leader Deepender Singh Hooda and other opposition members, sought an explanation from Deputy Chairman Harivansh about the omission.

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In response, Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar urged the opposition members to return to their seats, assuring that he would address the skipped question.

However, when Deepender Singh Hooda continued to voice his protest, Chairman Dhankhar made a remark about Jaya Bachchan, stating, “You are not her spokesperson. She herself is a very senior member. No, you don’t have to support her; she is a very senior member.”

Attempting to defuse the tension, Dhankhar later clarified that the skipped question would be taken up after the completion of the reply to the subsequent question. He acknowledged Jaya Bachchan’s seniority and expressed his regard for her sentiments.

When Bachchan attempted to speak, the Chairman interrupted but eventually allowed her to address the assembly. Bachchan emphasised the MPs’ right to question and requested respectful treatment.

She stated, “If you or the deputy chairman ask us to sit, we will, but we won’t do so when another member gestures at us and tells us to sit. It is our right to question. You tell us you can’t take up a question or that there is a problem and it will be taken up later, we understand, we are not schoolchildren. But treat us respectfully.”

Chairman Dhankhar acknowledged the sentiment, assuring that everyone should follow the rules and conduct themselves through the Chair. He said, “Point made. I think no one will disagree with the sentiment. The House is under the control of rules and the person presiding, and I am sure everyone will follow. Everything has to be through the Chair.”

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