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Headless chicken comment: Ronen Sen let off the hook
November 26, 2007 14:23 IST
The controversy over the 'headless chicken' remark of Indian envoy to the United States Ronen Sen was put to rest on Monday with the Rajya Sabha Privileges Committee recommending closure of the issue.
In an interview to rediff.com on August 20 titled 'We will have zero credibility', Sen had said: "It has been approved here (in Washington, DC) by the President, and there (in New Delhi) it's been approved by the Indian cabinet. So why do you have all this running around like headless chicken, looking for a comment here or comment there, and these little storms in a tea-cup?"
Soon, Members of Parliament from the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Left parties objected to some of the ambassador's comments in the interview, and disrupted Parliament's proceedings.
Following the uproar, Sen clarified: "My comment about "running round like headless chicken looking for a comment here or comment there" was a tactless observation on some of my media friends, and most certainly not with reference to any Honourable Member of Parliament."
Like the Lok Sabha Committee, the Rajya Sabha panel too decided to close the issue since "Sen has tendered unconditional and sincere apologies".
"In view of Sen's acceptance of having made the impugned remarks and that the same were unwarranted, and having tendered his unconditional apology, the Committee recommends that the matter should be allowed to rest here," the Rajya Sabha Committee said in its report tabled in the House.
The Lok Sabha Privileges Committee, which had summoned Sen last month after the remark rocked Parliament during the monsoon session, last week decided to close the issue. The Rajya Sabha panel, headed by Deputy Chairman K Rahman Khan, noted Sen's admission that it was certainly not his intention to cast aspersions or call into question the motives of MPs.
The panel, however, felt that his remarks were not only in "poor taste but also unwarranted".
Noting that in a democracy there would always be dissensions and divergence of opinion and everyone was legitimately entitled to have a point of view on a sensitive issue, the Rajya Sabha panel said that the personal frame of mind should not have influenced public utterances of a senior and experienced diplomat.
"The Committee expects that such lapses, as admitted by him, shall not recur," the report said.