Rajya Sabha MPs Welcome Naidu with Humour, Poetry
Trinamool’s Derek O’Brien asks V-P to keep coining acronyms, junior minister Ramdas Athavale pens a humorous poem for him
New Delhi: Rajya Sabha members displayed their sense of humour, their poetic side, their ideological or regional proximity, and their long association with M Venkaiah Naidu when they welcomed him to the House moments after he took oath as Vice President. After the marshal announced his arrival, Naidu walked into the House and occupied the Chairperson’s seat in the usual manner that the ex-officio head does on a routine working day. The House was more vocal though with several members shouting their welcome louder than on most days. A few even said “Jai Shri Ram”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the House in welcoming Naidu. Referring to Naidu’s prowess with alliterations and rhymes, Modi said when he speaks- especially in Telugu- one feels he is riding on a superfast.
Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M), a fellow Telugu who wanted to welcome Naidu in their mother-tongue, recalled that the Vice President had once told a reporter that they had ideological differences but have worked together in the House. “If I board a train and see Yechury in it, do you expect me to get down,” Yechury said, quoting Naidu. Derek O’Brien had composed a series of rhyming lines to welcome Naidu in the latter’s style. He also entreated Naidu to not shun coining of acronyms that he is famous for. The TMC leader had made one himself- NAIDU stands for Now All India Dearest Umpire- for the new Vice President and said he should not pass any Bill in a din in the House and be impartial in treating all members.
Ramdas Athavale (RPI-A), Minister of State for Social Justice, has been trying to show his poetic side for long in Parliament. He had penned a humorous poem for Naidu and took jibes at the Opposition too. Other than Yechury, CM Ramesh (TRS) spoke in Telugu to welcome Naidu. Tiruchi Siva (DMK) wanted to speak in Tamil, a language Naidu said he understood. But with no translator on duty, he spoke in English.
“If you can cooperate, I can operate better,” Naidu said in his inimitable style.
IN A LIGHTER VEIN
At one point, when Naidu said speakers should adhere to a time limit, Yechury quipped, “Sir, don’t threaten a surgical strike.”
Leader of the House Arun Jaitley, who has known Naidu since their student leader days, too spoke on the occasion. “Parliament can’t be the tyranny of the government but it also cannot be tyranny of the Well,” he said.
Earlier, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad made a similar remark while welcoming Naidu. “The Opposition should have its say but the Treasury Benches should also have its way,” he said.
TOP GUNS: President Ram Nath Kovind greets Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu after administering him the oath of office in Rashtrapati Bhavan on Friday. AFP PHOTO