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Massive uproar in RS over DMK MP Abdullah quoting Periyar

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New Delhi, Dec 11 (IANS) A huge uproar erupted in the Rajya Sabha during the discussion over the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 following DMK MP M M. Mohamed Abdullah quoting the lines of Periyar.Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar took strong objection while the members from the treasury benches asked the Congress to clear its stand if it supported the statement of the DMK which is its INDIA bloc partner.The verbal exchange started in the Rajya Sabha after Abdullah stood up to speak during the discussion on the two J&K Bills.Abdullah said that he stood to oppose the J&K Bills and that abrogation of Article 370 is an attack on federalism. The 2019 Act (Amendments) are unconstitutional.However, he was stopped by Dhankhar while members from the Treasury Benches said that he is “nullifying” the Supreme Court judgment.Dhankhar then said, “Members need to be aware of the fact that the Supreme Court has upheld what the Parliament has done. And therefore to speak against the judgement which is law of the land is not appropriate, your assertion was hundred per cent to the contrary and an objection has been raised.”He went on to say that when the judiciary has taken a view on a particular issue, comprehensively and decisively, we have to abide by it.Reacting to Dhankhar, the DMK member said that he had not gone into the judgment. Congress MP KC Venugopal rose and said that members have freedom to express their views.Dhankhar said that your freedom of speech in the House does not give you the license to say whatever you feel. “You have to be highly accountable. You have to be accountable in the House,” the Chairman said.Dhankhar added that this is improper and nothing will go on record. “The court has given the judgment and the Member is talking about it, we cannot ridicule the judgment like this.”Abdullah then also quoted Periyar’s lines and said, “Every race has the right to self determination.However, he was soon stopped by Dhankhar who accused him of abusing the platform and said you have gone too far.“I expunge your remarks, you indicate of racial discrimination. Sorry its expunged,” Dhankhar said.He also asked the Congress members why they are keeping silent on this.Meanwhile, Abdullah said that his expression was wrongly understood by the House.Following the commotion, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also said that the observations should be expunged.Sitharaman asked the Congress to explain their position if they go along with the view of the DMK member. “Congress should stand up and say,” she demanded.Dhankhar then again interrupted and said, it was not a good spectacle. “We all have taken oath of Constitution. This is not freedom of speech. Every word the member has spoken will be expunged,” the Chairman said.Dhankhar also said that “we have freedom of speech, that freedom comes with great responsibility”.During the commotion in the House, Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge said, “A Member tries to keep his views. He represents his views. If that is not good under law and Constitution or Business rules, you can expunge. Let the people speak, for rebutting there is a Chanakya, Home Minister (Amit Shah) is sitting here. He is capable to reply why others are interfering. And no matter how much everyone tries, no one will become minister till the time Shah and Modi sahib want.”Responding to Kharge, Leader of the House Piyush Goyal took a jibe at the INDIA bloc and said, “DMK is in alliance with the Congress. And everyone knows about the Ghamandiya alliance.“He (Kharge) must clarify whether they agree with the words used by the DMK member? They called Shah Chanakya, we didn’t protest,” Goyal saidDhankhar then said that it is a very important issue as what the member (DMK) has spoken is too serious. He said that he expected the LoP to take a serious view of what the member has spoken.He said: “It outrages the essence of the Constitution. It questions our integrity, it can’t be put under carpet citing right to freedom of speech. I expected LoP to make his point known on the issue. I have intervened because member has crossed all limits.”Venugopal then said that the DMK member quoted Periyar, who is one of the most important reformists of the country. He urged the Chairman to verify from the records what the DMK member said.Dhankhar then asked, “Can we quote anything in this House, can we quote to the extent of sedition, challenging our integrity, going against the Constitution and the judgment of the Supreme Court? No, that will not be acceptable.”Listening to the commotion in the House, Amit Shah rose and said, “Is the Congress satisfied with the statement? What you are saying I feel that you are supporting it. This record must be clear whether Congress is in support of DMK member Abdullah. LoP should explain his stand.”Kharge said, “What he quoted was from Periyar statements. He spoke on that. You can agree or disagree but his written views were kept here. It is not his statement, he only quoted Periyar lines. Stopping someone to speak is most undemocratic. Cutting the freedom of speech is their habit.”Congress leader Jairam Ramesh then cleared the party’s stand and said, “The quote of Periyar used by DMK member, we do not endorse that.”The uproar in the House was witnessed urging a discussion on the two J&K Bills moved by Shah earlier in the day.–IANSaks/bg

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