Speaker Om Birla warned lawmakers on Monday not to refer to anyone’s caste or religion in the House after a Congress MP accused Nirmala Sitharaman of making certain comments about his Hindi proficiency because he was a lower caste.
In response to Congress member A R Reddy’s reference to his own social category during Question Hour, the Speaker pointed out that people haven’t elected Lok Sabha members on the basis of their caste or religion.
We shouldn’t use such words in the House. As a result, I’ll have to take action against that member,” he warned.
The Congress member took issue with Reddy’s comments after Birla interrupted him while asking his question.
In the House, Birla asked Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury to tell members of the party not to make such remarks about the speaker.
“You’re the House leader. Make sure the members understand that they shouldn’t comment on the Speaker in the future, saying you (Speaker) can’t interrupt. Did you understand what I said?” Birla said.
In his question, Reddy referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s earlier remark when he was Gujarat’s chief minister that the rupee was in the ICU (intensive care unit) due to its depreciation against the dollar.
When the Speaker objected to Reddy’s comment and instructed him to ask only questions, Reddy replied, “Sir, you cannot interrupt.”.
Although Birla prohibited Reddy from making such comments against the Speaker, he allowed him to ask his question.
As a response to Reddy’s question, the finance minister indicated that she would also respond to the Congress member’s question in “weak Hindi”.
She said that while referring to Modi’s remarks about the rupee’s value against the dollar in the past, she should have also referred to the economic indicators of that period.
Undoubtedly, the economy was in the intensive care unit at that time. According to her, India was placed in the fragile five.
As a result of the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, India’s economy is currently growing at the fastest rate in the world.
“This is an issue of pride. She stated that they were making fun of it. Even though our economy is doing well, it is sad that they would talk such things out of jealousy.