Lalu to Speaker: Listen to us and we won’t troop towards podium

Posted by on Mar 11th, 2010 and filed under National, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

New Delhi, March 11 (IANS) ‘Don’t take it otherwise,’ Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad told Speaker Meira Kumar in the Lok Sabha Thursday while attempting to explain the unruly protests over the women’s reservation bill in a speech that invited frequent bouts of laughter.

The vociferous opponent of the constitutional amendment bill had the house smiling during the speech delivered in trademark Lalu style, scathing, sarcastic and satirical.

The former Bihar chief minister said the MPs, including Sharad Yadav of the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and Mulayam Singh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party (SP), were not showing off by walking towards the speaker’s podium.

‘This is not a fashion to go near your seat and shout. But when somebody doesn’t listen, we need to go closer to the person to make her listen to us. Don’t take it otherwise, madam,’ Lalu Prasad told the speaker. Many MPs thumped their desks and more laughed loudly.

‘The more you listen to us, the less we will troop towards the podium,’ he said in chaste Hindi, as Meira Kumar tried to tell him to keep his speech shorter.

The RJD chief attacked the government over its flagship bill that seeks to reserve one-third of legislative seats for women, calling it an onion that will ‘bring tears to MPs once they peel it off’.

He lambasted the government, calling the bill anti-Muslim and anti-Dalit, and even Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee couldn’t hide a smile.

Lalu Prasad said they were not opposing the reservation for women, but wanted amendments in the proposed bill to ensure that the rights of Muslim and Dalit women were not denied.

‘The constitution is being amended and therefore everyone’s opinion should be taken into account,’ he said, demanding a debate over the bill before it is brought to the Lok Sabha. The bill has been cleared by the Rajya Sabha.

He said MPs of the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who were supporting the bill inside parliament were, in fact, opposed to it.

‘They are telling us to save them from being made to sign their death certificates. Sab satyanaas hoga (Everthing will be devastated if the bill is passed in present form),’ he said amid a burst of laughter.

He said the three Yadavs — Mulayam Singh, Sharad Yadav and himself — were being criticised outside the house and said they were all ‘supremos’ of their parties. Communist Party of India-Marxist MP Basudeb Acharia interrupted but was silenced by Lalu Prasad’s quick wit.

‘We are supremos. You are gone. Thanks to Mamataji for taking a lead,’ he said, in an apparent reference to the last Lok Sabha election in which Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress routed the CPI-M in West Bengal.

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