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Parliament Snippets: Cross-party bonhomie?

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In the Rajya Sabha, as Coal Minister Piyush Goyal moved to withdraw the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Bill, 2000, a few members wanted to intervene. After Tapan Kumar Sen (CPI-M) and D. Raja (CPI) said they were against privatisation of coal mines, K.C. Tyagi (JD-U) also tried to make a point, but was not allowed by the Chair. To make himself heard, he said, “Sir you have allowed Raja, now allow praja (people),’’ and added, “D. Raja is the raja of proletariats”, to the amusement of many.

Cross-party bonhomie?

When the Lok Sabha broke for lunch, to everyone’s surprise, BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha walked across to the Congress benches. He first took Sonia Gandhi aside and spoke to her for a few minutes. He then talked to Leader of the Congress Mallikarjun Kharge – apparently, the actor-turned-politician told Mr. Kharge that he was impressed with the serious and grave way in which he made his points firmly in the House. A case of admiration from across the aisle? Or should something political be read into this case of cross-party bonhomie?

Tech-savvy as Gen Next

BJP veteran L.K. Advani, at 87, still walks ramrod straight, retaining the discipline and demeanour of a much younger man. He attends the Lok Sabha regularly. On Monday, he demonstrated that he is not only physically fit, he is also in tune with the Gen Next. During a lull in the proceedings, he took out his smart phone, and with a practised flick of his finger, checked his mail before putting it away much like his younger tech-friendly colleagues. Last week, when Biju Janata Dal’s Tathagata Satpathy rose to speak on The School of Planning and Architecture Bill, 2014, he did not pull out a sheaf of notes: instead he placed his IPad on his desk, occasionally glancing down as he spoke, swiping the screen.

She is no pushover

First-time BJP MP Poonam Mahajan, daughter of the late Pramod Mahajan, clearly has what it takes. As she rose to speak about the need to enhance the facilities at the Mumbai airport, RJD’s Pappu Yadav was still trying hard to get the Speaker’s attention. With an imperious wave of the hand, she admonished the startled RJD MP with a “Papu Bhaiyya”, who promptly sat down allowing her to speak without interruption.

A reminder

Once again, tension between the Trinamool Congress and the BJP in West Bengal was played out in the Lok Sabha when Kalyan Banerjee was making his point in the discussion on the Repealing and Amending (Second) Bill, 2014. As he looked at the members, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy told him to address the Chair, which started an altercation between Mr. Banerjee and BJP member S.S. Ahluwalia in Bengali. Things came to such a head that Deputy Speaker M. Thambidurai had to say: “This is Parliament; not West Bengal Assembly.’’

Gargi Parsai, Smita Gupta & Anita Joshua

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 8:57:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/parliament-snippets-cross-party-bonhomie/article10936997.ece

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