Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankar on Thursday responded to a statement made by Congress MP KC Venugopal stating 'it is an insult that the President and Vice President were not present at the inauguration of the New Parliament'. Dhankar said, "We cannot trade on deficiencies. We can't trade ignorance of others. Let me make it very clear, Vice President and President have been accorded the highest respect in the country. There has been no constitutional transgression."
He further said, "The position of the President and the Vice President or the chairman has to be kept at their level as expected and that was done. And that is what you have seen in last three days also. I would appeal to you as a member of the leading opposition party, you must do your homework. Find out. It does not send a good message when you bring in the President also. Read the constitution and you will find the role has been defined categorically. The President will address every session of Parliament, that was the original prescription in the Constitution. And the (first) amendment was, once a year. President has to act in accord with the Constitution."
Dhankar responded to Venugopal at the ongoing Special Session of Parliament. Notably, the Special Session will continue till September 22.
Earlier in the day, Congress Rajya Sabha member Ranjeet Ranjan asked why President Droupadi Murmu, a woman and the first person from the tribal community to hold the high office, was not invited to the opening of the new Parliament building.
Initiating a discussion on The Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2023, which seeks to provide 33 per cent reservation to women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies, Ranjan also questioned why it took the BJP nine-and-a-half years to bring the bill despite promising it in the party's election manifesto in 2014.