On Modi's advice, Parrikar speaks in Hindi in Lok Sabha

On Modi's advice, Parrikar speaks in Hindi in Lok Sabha

Minister plays by rules, holds back names of Cong leaders

On Modi's advice, Parrikar speaks in Hindi in Lok Sabha

Advised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar spoke in Hindi and laced his arguments with humour while targeting UPA in the chopper scam.

Parrikar played by the parliamentary rules by holding back names of the Congress leaders. However, his allegation that former Air force chief S P Tyagi got “chillar” (small amounts) amounted to indicting him even before the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) chargesheeting him in the scam. Both agencies are probing Tyagi.

Unlike in the Rajya Sabha debate, where he was seen reading out from a text, Parrikar switched to a simpler version of the deal’s chronology in Hindi to nail political rivals.

Alluding to leaders and bureaucrats who benefited from the scam, Parrikar indexed his wit and humour through a Hindi phrase of washing hands in flowing Ganga. He said the government was watching “where the Ganga was going”.

He also switched to a proverb in Konkoni, his native language, to ridicule Congress. “Why are you (Congress) concerned? I have not named anybody. You seem to know where the Ganga was going,” the minister said when the Congress protested during his reply to the debate.

Refusal to take names

The defence minister’s refusal to take names of the Congress leaders and other suspects in the Lok Sabha drew praise from Trinamool’s MP Saugata Roy.

Parrikar had come in for praise from Modi for his reply to a debate on AugustaWestland scam in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. Modi had found Parrikar’s speech had “all relevant facts” and rose “above politics” and displayed “best parliamentary traditions”.

It is learnt that Modi, after Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting, appreciated Parrikar on his speech which he delivered mostly in English but advised the minister to speak in Hindi when the discussion takes place in the Lok Sabha on Friday.

 The move is seen as a reach out to the Hindi-speaking states, especially Uttar Pradesh where the BJP and Congress will be in fray for 2017 Assembly polls.