Azhagiri breaks silence in Lok Sabha

Posted By: Mamatha
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New Delhi, Aug 5: M K Azhagiri, Chemicals and fertilisers minister, who had been keeping away from the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha for most of the time as he is not comfortable speaking in English or Hindi, finally opened his mouth in Lok Sabha on Thursday, Aug 5.

Azhagiri, answered his first question in the Lok Sabha over a year after assuming office in the Union Government.

"Question number 161. A statement A to E is laid on the table of the House," Azhagiri said in perhaps his first remarks during Question Hour in Parliament.

His deputy Srikant Jena fielded the supplementary raised by members. Jena was seen seeking the permission from his senior colleague before rising to answer the question.

"I am fortunate to have my question listed as the first question of the day and perhaps it is also the first time the minister is replying to a question," Congress member Charan Das Mahant said in an apparent dig at Azhagiri.

However, Alagiri had sought permission from Speaker Meira Kumar to reply in Tamil as he was not fluent in either Hindi or English.

Various senior Lok Sabha officials had then said that ministers should answer the questions either in English or Hindi as files containing the answers to questions are written in English and Hindi.

Finding a way out, the Speaker had told Azhagiri that he could answer main question by reading out the reply in English and the supplements could be fielded by Jena.

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