SAMAJWADI PARTY leader Mulayam Singh Yadav was the member most attended to in Lok Sabha in the second half on Tuesday. As Yadav came into the House, three minutes before it resumed after lunch, BJP’s Nishikant Dubey went up to him and asked how he was doing. NCP’s Supriya Sule touched Yadav’s feet, helped him take his seat and fix the headphone – “it’s good to see him”, she said. When the debate on the Budget started, BJP MP Virendra Singh Mast praised Yadav in his speech and called him a real Lohiya leader. He also recalled that the SP leader had wished Prime Minister Narendra Modi success in the previous Lok Sabha before the elections. When Yadav got up to leave after a while, Virendra Singh ran up to him to hold his hands and help him. On the way out, new Trinamool Congress MPs Nusrat Jahan and Mimi Chakraborty sought his blessings, and Yadav obliged.
Despite being absent in the Lok Sabha in the beginning of the second half, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor became a topic of discussion on Tuesday. In his speech on the Budget, BJP’s Virendra Singh Mast sarcastically said that he was amused to hear Tharoor speaking about farmers and farming. He said the Congress leader sounded like a Hollywood actor singing Bhojpuri songs. Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi took exception to the remarks and asked, “Why can he not talk about farmers? Does his constituency not have farmers?” TMC’s Saugata Roy also joined Gogoi to slam the BJP MP. Later, first-time BJP MP Sunita Duggal took a dig at the Thirunvananthapuram MP, recalling his “cattle class” remark and stating that this very class brings the members to Parliament.
Congress’s Lok Sabha MPs were much charged up in the House on Tuesday, and for a reason perhaps. At a meeting of its Lok Sabha Parliamentary party this morning, chaired by Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi forcefully asked them to wage a tireless battle in Parliament, raising issues and policies that are dear to the party. He also asked them to highlight the party’s policies and manifesto often. In the House, Rahul joined his party MPs in raising slogans over the Karnataka issue. He also congratulated MPs such as T N Prathapan, who led the charge. Prathapan, a first-time MP, even had a brief argument with the Speaker, when the latter warned them against displaying posters. “Very good; you are bold,” Rahul is learnt to have later told Prathapan. Rahul and Sonia had addressed the party’s first-time MPs separately on Monday. The session was addressed by former Lok Sabha Speaker P D T Achary, PRS Legislative Research’s Chakshu Roy, besides party leaders Jairam Ramesh and Congress research wing head Rajeev Gowda.