In a rare and embarrassing development for the government, a portion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech has been deleted from the records in Parliament on Thursday, August 9.
Modi allegedly made “derogatory remarks” about Congress candidate BK Hariprasad in the Rajya Sabha after the NDA candidate Harivansh won the election for the post of deputy chairperson.
As per media reports, PM Modi in his speech while congratulating Harivansh, said that the election was between “two Haris” and he went on to take a swipe at Hariprasad, playing on his initials. The PM’s remark was seen as derogatory by some from the Opposition camp.
Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Manoj Kumar Jha raised the issue under Rule 238 and urged Rajya Sabha chairperson Venkaiah Naidu to expunge the remark. Jha said PM’s remarks were “derogatory in direction and intent.”
Immediately after this, Modi praised Hariprasad for doing his bit to protect the dignity of democracy in a lost battle.
As per media reports, PM Modi, in his speech while congratulating Harivansh, said that the election was between “two Haris” and he went on to take a swipe at Hariprasad playing on his initials. PM’s remark was seen as derogatory by some from the Opposition camp
While BJP leaders called it an example of Rajya Sabha chairman Naidu’s fairness and non-partisanship, the Congress said the prime minister’s words lowered the dignity of the house.
Remarks made by the prime minister are rarely expunged from the records.
In a similar incident which occurred in 2013, after a sharp exchange in Parliament between then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and then Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley, some words used by both of them were expunged.
Harivansh has defeated Hariprasad by securing 125 votes to 105 after the BJD offered its support to the JD(U) MP.
In his victory speech following the election, Harivansh said he would uphold the dignity of the Upper House and expressed hope that differences would be ironed out through constructive debate, consensus and guidance.
“Treading on rules and procedures framed by our Constitution makers, we can lead the country to greatness… there would be differences in debates, there would be different opinions… we can find a way,” said Harivansh in the Parliament.