Nirmala Sitharaman’s remarks on Sonia Gandhi removed from Rajya Sabha proceedings

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday removed some of the statements made by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman about Sonia Gandhi in the House. Sitharaman had demanded an apology from Sonia Gandhi for Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s “national wife” remark. There was a lot of uproar in the house regarding this. Earlier, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge had demanded that the remarks made by Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Nirmala Sitharaman about Congress President Sonia Gandhi on July 28 should be expunged from the proceedings of the House. He had said that both these ministers should apologize for this. However, following her demand, some excerpts of Sitharaman’s speech were removed from the proceedings of the Upper House.

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According to the information provided by the Rajya Sabha Secretariat, on the orders of Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, excerpts of Finance Minister Sitharaman’s speech in the Upper House on July 28 have been omitted from the proceedings. Earlier today, the Leader of Opposition raised the issue in the Upper House, saying that he wanted to raise a serious matter related to “procedural irregularities”. He said that he had sent a letter to the Chairman of Rajya Sabha on July 29.

He said that in this letter a reference has been made to the mention of Congress President Sonia Gandhi by Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Piyush Goyal on July 28. Kharge said, “She (Sonia Gandhi) is a member of the other House and mentioning her name is a gross violation of the parliamentary practice of long standing. I have sought to remove the words used by Nirmala Sitharaman and Goyal in the above mention and apologize to both of them.

To this, Presiding Vice President Bhuvneshwar Kalita said that this is an issue on which the Chairman will decide. The Leader of the Opposition said he wanted to know how much time the Chairman would take to take the decision as he had given the letter on July 29 itself. He said that this is an important matter related to the old tradition of the House. Kalita, the presiding vice-president, told him that the matter should be left to the Chairman as it was pending before him.

On this issue, Leader of the House Piyush Goyal said that it is very unfortunate that the Leader of Opposition is raising objections on the Chair. He said that the seats are fair and it is wrong to allege that the Bill was passed even though there was no order in the House. Goyal said that the members of the ruling party are sitting quietly and some members of the opposition are not allowing order to be created in the house. He claimed that the members of the opposition are doing all this to avoid discussion on the issue of inflation and they want to run away from this discussion.

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