Alagiri to get Tamil interpreter in Parliament


Although the minister was sighted in Parliament on Monday, the DMK leader has been a regular absentee from both the Houses of Parliament ever since the UPA began its second term.

His continued absence has been a source of embarrassment for the government.
Alagiri’s discomfort with English is believed to be the reason for his absence from both Parliament and Cabinet meetings, especially during the Question Hour or when issues are raised about his ministry. The speaker had earlier turned down a Tamil interpreter for him saying that English and Hindi are only languages for which interpretation is allowed during a minister’s speech.

Minister of State Srikant Jena has been deputising for him in Parliament. In a major relief to the government, however, the Speaker had reportedly told the minister that he would be allowed a Tamil interpreter to facilitate is attendance.
“I have asked Alagiri to come and attend the parliament session, I have told him that we will solve his problem,” Meira Kumar said on Monday. Alagiri, on his part, has cited his official tours abroad and his inability to respond in English as an excuse for his absence.

Last week, the Speaker joined the Opposition to know the whereabouts of the minister.

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