Mallikarjun Kharge in the row in connection with the presidential oath: “How was Shinde in the front row?” Latest News India

A new political row has erupted over Mallikarjun Kharge’s failure to get a proper seat during the presidential oath ceremony.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge expressed displeasure at the seats at the president’s oath ceremony on Monday, hours after the opposition sent a letter to Rajya Sabha leader Venkaiah Naidu. The letter underscored the “disrespect” towards Kharge, the opposition leader in Rajya Sabha, by not granting him a seat “appropriate to his position”.

“We are writing to express our shock and protest at this deliberate disrespect being shown to a very senior leader who is violating the Order of Priority and not acting in accordance with the courtesies of protocol due to him,” read the statement released by the National Congress Party (NCP) signed letter. Vandana Chavan, Binoy Viswam of the Communist Party of India (CPI), Mukul Wasnik of Congress, Pramod Tiwari and Jairam Ramesh.

Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi denied the allegations, citing the minutes. He said the senior congressman sat in the front row, although the record of the LoP sits in the third row. “When he was still complaining that it was on the corner, the staff offered to move him to the center but he refused,” he was quoted as saying by the ANI news agency.

To which Kharge later responded by saying: “… As for protocol, how did Chief Minister Shinde appear in the front row? They let their own people sit in front. And a recognized leader of the opposition is simply brushed aside. It is not okay.”

He also spoke out against the suspension of four congressmen amid opposition protests in Parliament. “It’s not appropriate to suspend someone. The government intimidates them for spreading the truth in Parliament. It shows that PM Modi wants to end our democracy,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Droupadi Murmu was sworn in as India’s 15th President. She became the country’s first indigenous president after defeating Yashwant Sinha, the opposition candidate.

(With inputs from ANI)

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