A remark during the speech of a Shiv Sena MP got the Opposition united Tuesday against the ruling NDA in Lok Sabha, causing the House to be adjourned for some time and drawing a clarification from the BJP ally on the floor of the House. The Sena MP was speaking during the motion of thanks to the President’s address.
Making his speech, Pratapsingh Jhadhav said, “Twenty-five years ago Balasaheb Thackeray had said a day would come when the saffron flag would be unfurled atop Red Fort. That dream has come true.”
At first, Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan asked whether he meant the Tricolour. Immediately after that, leader of the Congress in the House Mallikarjun Kharge got up to protest. By then MPs from the TMC, the CPM and the RJD started shouting even as Jadhav remained unfazed. They demanded that the words be expunged from the record.
Arjun Charan Sethi, who was in the chair, tried to restore calm saying he would examine the words and take a call later, but the protesters would have none of it and demanded that Jadhav’s words be expunged and that the Shiv Sena MP apologise.
With the Opposition united in protest, the chair adjourned the proceedings for 15 minutes. When the proceedings resumed, Union minister Anant Geete, who is also the Shiv Sena leader in Lok Sabha, got up to explain his party’s stand on what Jadhav said. “I want to say that there has been a misunderstanding. The colour of our party flag is saffron. Our late leader Balasaheb and our party have never compromised with the sanctity of the Constitution and the national flag. During rallies we figuratively say that we would want the saffron flag to unfurl atop the Assembly, but that does not mean we mean to replace the Tricolour,” he said.