Published: Sat, March 31, 2018
Tech | By Constance Martin

Rajya Sabha banter on weight loss, women's representation

Rajya Sabha banter on weight loss, women's representation

For Congress MP Renuka Chowdhury, whose Rajya Sabha term is nearing its end, an unusual advice came from the chairman Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday.

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi had lamented that the retiring MPs were unable to participate in discussions on crucial issues, Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said it would be unfair to blame the Opposition for forcefully raising people's issues in the House, virtually justifying the protests.

Reservation Bill. Women constitute only 11.7% of the Rajya Sabha strength. Referring to the repeated disruptions of the proceedings of the House, Mr Rahman Khan had mentioned the practice in the British Parliament noting that that there was no suspension in the UK House of Commons and the House of Lords. "It is not necessary that whatever happens in the Green House (Lok Sabha), should happen in the Red House (Rajya Sabha)", Modi said, adding the Upper House was a distinguished House with eminent members serving and playing a vital role in the Indian democracy. Agarwal said this is the first time he is bidding farewell but announced he will be back in one of the two Houses soon.

The remarks evoked peals of laughter in the House, which witnessed several light moments during the farewell speeches of retiring members who are about to complete their tenure.

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But the tour inevitably led to a series of stagey photos as she visited a factory, a group of farmers and a nursery. The PM is to visit England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, appealing to those for and against Brexit.

Chowdhury continued with her speech, going on to say she has witnessed much in the Rajya Sabha, from Shah Bano to Soorpanakha.

Lauding the contribution of Prof PJ Kurien, who is also retiring, as Deputy chairman, the PM said, "everyone will remember Professor Kurien's smiling face, even when he is admonishing others". In his characteristic manner, Naidu said while the members retired but they were not "tired" and will continue to serve the country.

To which, Naidu responded, "My simple suggestion is, reduce your weight and make efforts to increase the weight of the party".

During her farewell speech, Chowdhury, 63, said: "He (Naidu) knows me from many kilos before".

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