New Delhi, Feb 10 (PTI) Amid speculations of the RLD joining BJP-led NDA ahead of the general elections, the regional party leader Jayant Singh on Saturday praised the Modi government for honouring his grandfather and former prime minister Chaudhary Charan Singh with Bharat Ratna.
He said that only a government "rooted to ground realties" could have taken such a decision.
As soon as Singh started thanking the government for the honour in Rajya Sabha, Congress members objected and Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge wanted to know the rule under which the RLD leader was allowed to speak.
Kharge said it is a matter of pride and he "salutes" former prime ministers P V Narasimha Rao and Charan Singh and agriculture scientist M S Swaminathan, all of whom are being conferred with Bharat Ratna.
"There is no debate on honouring leaders with Bharat Ratna. I salute everyone. But if a member wants to raise an issue, you (chairman) ask 'under which rule'. (I want to know) under which rule he (Jayant Singh) has been allowed to speak. Give permission to us also. On one side you talk about rule...You have discretion...that discretion should be used judiciously and not when you want...," Kharge said, leading to a huge uproar in the House.
Congress president Kharge also accused the chairman of not following the rules.
The chairman tried to bring order in the House.
Amid uproar, Union Minister Parshottam Rupala exressed surprise why the Congress was opposing Bharat Ratna to Chaudhary Charan Singh.
"The leader of opposition is challenging the Chair and that too on such an occassion (celebration awarding of Bharat Ratna)...this is the real face of the Congress...Congress has been exposed," Rupala said.
Jayant Singh said he was shocked with the "disrespect" to Charan Singh being shown in the House by the Congress.
He rued that honouring a personality like Charan Singh is being seen through a political prism and is being linked to formation of a political alliance and winning or losing elections.
"I am indebted. Only a government which is rooted to ground realities understands the voices from the ground and strengthens them, can honour 'Dhartiputra' Charan Singh with Bharat Ratna," Jayant Chaudhary said.
Leader of the House and Union Minister Piyush Goyal asked Leader of Opposition Kharge to appologise to the Chair as well as the nation for his remarks. PTI LUX NKD MJH KR MNK NKD MNK MNK