In an major embarrassment to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday expunged remarks made by him against Congress MP B K Hariprasad, the Opposition joint candidate for deputy chairman elections, finding it to be “objectionable”.
The rare expunging of remarks by the prime minister came after RJD MP Manoj K Jha raised the issue on Thursday after which Naidu said he will go through the records. Jha said the remarks were “derogatory in direction and intent”.
Hariprasad had lost to JD(U)’s Harivansh. While congratulating the winner in the House, Modi made some remarks which were found to be objectionable by Opposition MPs .. Taking note of its content Naidu expunged them from the records.
Hariprasad tweeted, “PM refers to Prime Minister of this great nation. PM also refers to a panchayat member, from where political activists begin their career. Even a panchayat member would be ashamed of the language PM Modi used against me!”
While BJP leaders called it an example of Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu’s fairness and non-partisanship, the Congress said the prime minister’s words, spoken as part of a congratulatory speech on the floor of the house were ill-chosen and unseemly.
“I think it becomes a massive shame for this country. The PM himself uses unparliamentary expressions in any house of the Parliament,” said Congress lawmaker Shashi Tharoor.
“I think Mr Modi is a very fine speaker and rhetorician. He prides himself on being able to find play of words on everything and I think that should be applauded. We need some creativity of expression but at the same time, there are some limits that must not be crossed and very sadly it is clear that these limits have been crossed,” he added.
It is rare but this may not be the first instance of a prime minister’s comments being expunged. In 2013, after a sharp exchange in Parliament between then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Arun Jaitley, who was in the opposition, resulted in some words used .
Political analysts said Modi intention is provoking a clear unwarranted one whereas Manmohan and Jaitley exchange of words tantamount to outcome of fierce arguments