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‘We are not schoolchildren’: why Jaya Bachchan lost his cool in Parliament

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Ms Bachchan suggested another member had gestured and asked opposition MPs to sit down.

New Delhi:

Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar’s remark on a Congress leader amid an outcry from opposition members over skipping a question, drew a strong retort from the Samajwadi Party MP , Jaya Bachchan, who said the members would have understood if the problem had been explained to them and that they are “not schoolchildren”. She also said MPs should be treated with respect.

When a question on aviation was ignored during Question Hour on Tuesday, Ms Bachchan, Deepender Singh Hooda of the Congress and other opposition members stood up and asked the Rajya Vice President Sabha, Harivansh, why this had happened.

Amid the uproar, Deputy Speaker and Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar asked Opposition members to take their seats and said he would return to the issue. When Mr Hooda continued to protest, Mr Dhankhar said: “You are not her (Ms Bachchan) spokesperson. She is a very high-ranking member herself. No, you don’t have to support her, she’s a very senior member.

Seeking to defuse the situation later, Mr. Dhankhar said he had indicated that question number 18, which had been skipped, would be taken up once the answer to question number 19 was completed.

“It will be approached in a calm manner (and) try to find a way out. Jaya Bachchan ji is a very senior member and if she has a feeling, then it will definitely be serious with me,” she said.

When Ms. Bachchan stood up to speak, the President interrupted her and said, “I would ask Jaya Bachchan ji… Jaya ji, you are a very senior member. Even otherwise in the country, everything you say is well considered. Well done all of us, and I’m sure a great actor like you must have done many covers too (sic). “

Ms Bachchan intervened, saying she should be allowed to speak and stressed that she had immense respect for the vice president.

“If you or the Vice President ask us to sit down, we will do so, but we will not do so when another member signals us and asks us to sit down. It is our right to ask questions. You tell us that you can’t take a position. a question or that there is a problem and it will be addressed later, we understand, we are not schoolchildren. But treat us with respect”, she declared.

Striking a conciliatory note, Mr. Dhankhar said: “Point raised. I don’t think anyone will disagree with this sentiment. The House is under the control of the rules and the person who presides, and I’m sure everyone will follow…everything has to be through the Presidency.

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