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Birla, Dhankhar tick off Congress for ‘mic off’ charge | India News – Times of India



NEW DELHI: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Rajya Sabha chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar took exception to allegations that microphones were turned off when opposition functionaries were speaking and said presiding officers did not have any switch or remote control to turn off the mikes.
Birla said, “The chair only gives ruling/directives. The member whose name is called gets to speak in the House.The mike is controlled as per the directives of the chair. The person sitting in the chair does not have a remote control or a switch for the microphones.”
He said members of all parties had representation on the panel of chairpersons who preside over proceedings in the absence of the speaker. “This is a matter of the dignity of the chair. At least those who occupy the chair should not raise such objections. (K) Suresh also occupies the chair. Does the chair have control of the mike?” he asked, addressing the Congress veteran.
In Rajya Sabha, responding to allegations of Congress MP Pramod Tiwari that LoP Mallikarjun Kharge’s mike was turned off when he was speaking, Dhankhar said, “Do you believe the mics are switched off? You only want to do these optics… this is automatic. Can’t we understand a simple technology? None has the authority to switch off the mics. Such talk is only to create illusion, taint, tarnish and diminish our institutions. You know it Kharge ji, it’s mechanically controlled. When I speak, mic of no one works. This is the concept.”
Later in the day, LoP in Lok Sabha Rahul Gandhi raised the issue, asking who controlled the microphone. In response, Birla said, “This has been raised several times. I don’t have any button to switch off the microphone. There existed a similar set-up earlier. I have requested several times that such allegations should not be raised against the chair.”





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