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Use of English lands minister in trouble

Trouble arose during Question Hour when Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh replied in English to a supplementary put to him in Hindi.

Written by Agencies | New Delhi |
July 20, 2009 12:51:18 pm

Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh on Monday ran into fresh trouble in Parliament for replying to questions in English when a BJP member objected to it in the Rajya Sabha,leading to uproar in the House.

Trouble arose during the Question Hour when Ramesh replied in English to a supplementary put to him in Hindi,triggering a sharp reaction from Kalraj Mishra (BJP) who asked why was he not replying in Hindi despite being fluent in it.

To this Ramesh commented in Hindi: “Kalraj Mishraji yeh Mulayam Singhji ki bimari aap ko bhi pahuch gayi hai (this ‘disease’ of Mulyam Singh Yadav has reached you)”,referring to the SP leader raising in Lok Sabha the issue of ministers being fluent in Hindi but using English.

The minister’s remark drew flak from the BJP,SP and BSP members,who said Hindi was not a disease.

Chairman Hamid Ansari then said both the languages could be used in the House and members should not make an issue out of a non-issue.

“This (original) question was asked in English and the minister has the right to answer it in English,” he ruled.

But this did not pacify the members who kept protesting against Ramesh’s remark till the Chair ruled that any comment against the national language would be expunged.

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