NATIONAL

Moments of wit and humour

NEW DELHI, MARCH 17. The Rajya Sabha saw moments of confusion, wit and humour over the role of the Trinamool Congress MP, Dinesh Trivedi, who today doubled as a Speaker on the Union Budget and then presided over the sitting of the House. Veteran industrialist R.P. Goenka admitted that he was "confused'' over the double personality of the member after the Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Suresh Pachouri, reminded him that he could not quote what the Chair had said (Mr. Trivedi) but could comment on the observations of a member (Mr. Trivedi who had preceded Mr. Goenka as the Speaker).

Mr. Goenka than proceeded to ask Mr. Trivedi whether he could quote "that Mr. Trivedi'' while pointing to the seat vacated by him soon after making his speech to Chair. "As long as it is Parliamentary,'' quipped the Chair. At one point, Mr. Goenka began stating how Mr. Trivedi had misquoted the Government's initiative on the infrastructure front. Realising that Mr. Goenka was mixing his observations with those of another speaker, the Chair quipped: "Did that Mr. Trivedi really say that. However, I would have to check the records.''

On Mr. Goenka's observation that his double personality was too much for him, the Trinamool MP said his surname suggested that he had three personalities. At this the industrialist pointed out that for him he had a double personality — that of a member and the other of a presiding officer.

"The day you come and sit with us I will agree that you have three personalities,'' Mr. Goenka said.

Taking up some of Mr. Trivedi's observations during his speech, Mr. Goenka wanted to know whether he considered himself an economist.

"I am not even close to being called that,'' was the reply from Mr. Trivedi who had by then vacated the Chair for the Deputy Chairperson, K. Rehman Khan. "You can get Jairam Ramesh to teach you some economics,'' suggested Mr. Goenka.

"That would be lovely. But he wouldn't have presented this Budget. I am sure of that,'' shot back Mr. Trivedi.

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