Video: Subhash Chandra Bose's grandson who shared limelight with Modi in Parliament, Sonia impressed

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Sugata Bose
New Delhi, June 12: Prime Minister Narendra Modi made headlines with his maiden speech in Parliament on Wednesday, June 11. However, he was not alone, grandnephew of Indian revolutionary Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose -- Sugata Bose shared the limelight with the prime minister.

Sugata, the Harvard Professor of History, drew encomiums from almost the entire Lok Sabha for an eloquent maiden speech and Congress President Sonia Gandhi walked up to him to congratulate. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP also impressed his arch rivals - CPI(M)'s Mohd Salim as well as state Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury - as well as MPs of other parties including the treasury benches.

57-year-old Sugata contested with a ticket of Mamata Banerjee's party in West Bengal. Defeating CPI(M) candidate Sujan Chakraborty, BJP candidate Swarup Prasad Ghosh and Congress candidate Samir Aich, Sugata won in Jadavpur with 12,72,362 votes.

His mother Krishna, an eminent writer and educationist, is a three time parliamentarian from the same Jadavpur constituency. Sugata, a self-confessed "man of scholarly pursuits", has the Gardiner Chair of Oceanic History at Harvard University at Cambridge, US. He also has authored Netaji's biography "His Majesty's Opponent".

On Wednesday when Modi impressed everyone with his speech in the Lok Sabha, Sugata too was ushered with praises as he won the hearts of the Parliamentarians. The House listened to his 15-minute speech in rapt attention and applauded him, with Sonia Gandhi, who was also seen thumping the desk, walking up the aisle and congratulating him as he concluded.

What Sugata Bose said in Lok Sabha:

Referring to the federal structure of the country's democratic polity, Bose, a kin of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, said the federal spirit has been "sadly diluted" in recent years.

"The legendary king Bharata - after whom our country Bharatbarsha is named, had been described in the ancient texts as 'Rajchakrabarti'. He took pains to explain the term did not mean emperor but "simply a king at the centre of a circle of kings," Mr Bose said, adding the the BJP-led government should adhere to the concept of 'cooperative federalism'.

"When the central government siphons off the bulk of funds of a state's revenues in the form of debt interest, surely it violates the federal spirit", he said.

He also disputed claims that the eastern region was lagging behind the western part of the country in terms of physical and social infrastructure.

"I must strenuously object to the patronising claim made by this government that it will bring the eastern region of the country on par with the western region in terms of physical and social infrastructure," Mr Bose said.

Observing that BJP MP Rajiv Pratap Rudy was "too starry - eyed" in his admiration of China, Bose said "China is, after all, a one-party dictatorship and an authoritarian state. Our development path should be better based on our own democracy."

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