STATE TIMES NEWS
New Delhi: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Monday warned members against referring to anyone’s caste and religion in the House after a Congress MP alleged that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made certain remarks about his proficiency in Hindi because he belonged to a lower caste.
Taking serious exception to the word used by Congress member A R Reddy to refer to his own social category during the Question Hour, the Speaker pointed out that people have not elected the members to Lok Sabha on the basis of their caste and religion.
“Anyone here should never use such words in the House. Otherwise, I will have to take action against such a member,” the Speaker warned.
He also took serious exception to the Congress member’s remarks after Reddy, while asking his question, asked Birla not to “interrupt” him.
Birla asked the Congress’s leader in the House, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, to make the members of the party understand that they should never make such comments about the Speaker.
“You are Leader of the House. Make members understand that they should never comment on the Speaker in future saying that you (Speaker) can not interrupt. Did you understand what I said?” Birla said.
The issue appeared as Reddy began asking question on depreciation of rupee against dollar referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s earlier remark when he was the chief minister of Gujarat that rupee was in the ICU (intensive care unit).
“Sir, you cannot interrupt,” Reddy said as the Speaker objected to his comment and directed him to ask question only.
Birla, however, allowed Reddy to ask his question after he warned against making such comments against the Speaker.
Responding to Reddy’s question, the finance minister said she will also give her reply in “weak Hindi” to the question asked by the Congress member in “weak Hindi”.
The Congress member, while referring to Modi’s remarks on value of rupee against dollar in the past, should have also referred to the economic indicators of that time, she said.
“Economy was certainly in the ICU then. India was kept in fragile five,” she said.
India is the fastest growing economy today despite the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, she asserted.
“This is a matter of pride. But they are making fun of it, she said. “It’s sad that they talk such things out of jealousy when our economy is doing well,” she added.