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Aiyar compares MPs with animals; Cong apologises

Last updated on: November 30, 2012 15:21 IST

Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy on Friday criticised Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar for comparing Opposition Members of Parliament with animals.

"Mani Shankar Aiyar has made a comment in television interview calling members of parliament as animals. Well we absolutely agree on one thing that parliament should not be obstructed, but does this give right to Aiyar to call members of parliament as animals," Rudy asked.

"Who is Mani Shankar Aiyar? Mani Shankar Aiyar is a member of parliament who has been nominated to Rajya Sabha and not even elected. He subsequently joins the Congress Party. I believe he has been a foreign diplomat. He served in the Indian Foreign Service for over 25 years," he said.

"I am just amused and shocked what he must have contributed in his 25 years as Indian Foreign officers, the language, which he uses, the behaviour which he exhibits especially in the back drop when the Congress party is all being charged with corruption, 2G scam, coal-gate and Commonwealth games, etc.... I think it's shocking," he added.

In a television debate on Parliament deadlock over Foreign Direct Investment in multi-brand retail, Aiyar said, "There is a decent and respectable way to express one's point of view. This behaviour of the MPs reminds me of animals screaming in a well."

This came even as Parliament deadlock over FDI ended on Thursday after the government agreed for a vote on the issue both in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar accepted the notice for a discussion on the issue under Rule 184, while Rajya Sabha Chairman Dr Hamid Ansari agreed to a discussion under Rule 167.

PTI adds:

Members in Rajya Sabha belonging to various parties on Friday raised strong objections to reported comments of Mani Shankar Aiyar comparing MPs shouting slogans in the Well with animals and demanded an apology.

An apparently embarrassed Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla tendered an immediate apology on behalf of Aiyar and informed the House that he will talk to him in this regard.

As members pressed for summoning the Congress member and referring the matter to the Ethics Committee of Parliament, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien hoped he will come and explain his position in the House.

He said, "If that does not happen, then there is a course of action...The chair will examine the matter."

Earlier raising the matter soon after Question Hour, members of BJP, SP, BSP and Left parties were on their feet condemning Aiyar's remarks and demanding action against him.

As members attacked the ruling party over Aiyar's remarks, Shukla sought to pacify them saying, "It is not a good thing.

If he has said so then in my opinion it is totally inappropriate. I will talk to him and if he apologises, it will be good."

This was objected to by Naresh Agrawal (SP), who demanded an apology from Aiyar minus any ifs and buts..."If he does not apologise then action should be taken against him," he said.

Shukla said, "First of all, I apologise if he has made any such remarks...I will tell him to come and apologise to members if he has said so."

Kurien also said that since Aiyar is not present in the House, he should be given an opportunity to come and explain what he said.

As members persisted with their demand to refer the issue to the Ethics Committee of Parliament noting that Aiyar's statement amounted to breach of privilege, Kurien told them to give a notice in this regard.

Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) urged the Chair "you put it on record that the Privilege Committee will look into it".

Source: ANI