New Delhi: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s intervention during the discussion on the special category status for Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday in the Upper House won him praise from Rajya Sabha chairperson M Venkaiah Naidu. Referring to the former PM’s speech, Naidu on Wednesday said, Singh, during whose term the AP reorganisation bill was passed, made his point in the Upper House without raising his voice and yet managed to convey his message.
The remarks were made after YSR Congress MP Vijaysai Reddy apologised to the chair for protesting that he had not been given adequate time to speak. “To err is human,” Naidu said, adding that he has already asked senior leaders to think of ways to deal with situations in the House when members want more time to speak than has been agreed to.
Mentioning the former PM’s speech, he said: “Dr Singh spoke for how much time, but he conveyed the message. He conveyed the message in such a manner, which makes everyone think. The purpose was served, he did not shout; though he is the man who was instrumental in bringing that bill and making that announcement also. He has also conveyed that it was done in consultation with the Leader of the Opposition at that time.”
Dr Singh was present in the House when Naidu made these remarks. Earlier, Opposition leader Ghulam Nabi Azad also expressed regret over the remarks made by Reddy. Azad said in the past MPs have disagreed with the chairperson and even expressed their opinions and disagreements, but these were done either during the meeting of the business advisory committee or in the chambers of the chairperson.
“This should not happen again… Anger can be expressed in the chamber and the BAC; but respect should be maintained,” he said. For his part, Reddy offered an apology and said he was moved by the “emotive issue” during his discussion. “I should spontaneously and voluntary say this, not at the request or direction of CM Ramesh (TDP leader). I regret the incident, it was an emotive issue, particularly when I hail from Andhra Pradesh and am elected from there. I thought adequate opportunity was not given to m,” Reddy said in his defence.