- Congress wrote a letter to RS Chairman over 'seating arrangement' during Murmu's oath-taking
- Party alleged Kharge was made to sit in a seat 'not commensurate with the position he holds'.
- Kharge was seen seated next to Narayan Rane and Sarbananda Sonowal - both Union Ministers
The Congress on Monday wrote a letter to Rajya Sabha Chairman over the 'seating arrangement' during President Droupadi Murmu's oath-taking ceremony earlier today. In the letter, the party alleged that Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge was made to sit in a seat 'not commensurate with the position he holds'.
A letter shared by Congress leader Jairam Ramesh read, "Today, at the swearing-in ceremony of the Hon'ble President, Shri Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha was made to sit in a seat not commensurate with the position he holds."
The leaders, including those from the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Trinamool Congress, Shiv Sena, Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Rashtriya Janata Dal, were signatories to the letter and expressed shock at the “deliberate disrespect” shown to Kharge.
"We are writing to express our shock and protest at this deliberate disrespect shown to a very senior leader violating the warrant of precedence and not in accordance with protocol courtesies due to him," the leaders said.
Where was Kharge seated - an India TV check
In images shared by the Prime Minister and senior office holders, Mallikarjun Kharge was seen seated next to Narayan Rane and Sarbananda Sonowal - both Union Ministers.
The seating of the leaders, according to the Home Ministry website, is arranged by the ascending order of office. President, Vice President, Governors, Ex-Presidents, Dy. PM, CJI, followed by speakers and LoP.
By the list mentioned above, Kharge seems to be seated in the right order.
Union minister Pralhad Joshi clarified on the 'seating' row and said that the Congress leader was given a seat in the first row. "To respect the position of Mallikarjun Kharge, he was provided with a seat in the first row. When he still complained that it was on the corner, the staff offered to move him to the centre, but he refused."
"On Saturday, for the farewell function, he was duly invited. He had been allotted a seat close to the PM. But he did not show up. In a way, it was an insult to the outgoing Pres, the Chairman & the Speaker," the BJP leader added.