Rajya Sabha on Thursday witnessed uproar for a while after MDMK member Vaiko objected Union Minister Harsh Vardhan for replying to a debate in Hindi which was strongly opposed by the members of the treasury benches.
As soon as Harsh Vardhan started replying in Hindi to an hour-long debate on the National Medical Commission Bill, Vaiko objected to it and asked the minister to respond in English.
"I will speak both in Hindi and English," Harsh Vardhan said in an attempt to pacify the agitating member.
Deputy Chairman Harivansh, who was at the Chair, also told the member that translation arrangements were already in place. However, his repeated requests were unheard by Vaiko.
The MDMK chief insisted his demand, which was strongly opposed by the BJP members. Harsh Vardhan then replied in English.
While replying to the debate, at one point of time, Harsh Vardhan again started speaking in Hindi, and Vaiko again objected to it.
This time, the BJP members were aggressive and strongly countered Vaiko, saying he cannot dictate a minister as to in which language he should speak. Amid the din, Harsh Vardhan continued his speech in Hindi.
Later, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu took up the issue and said there was a practice in the Parliament that any member or minister can speak in any language they are permitted.
"I am told during my absence that again there was some discussion about language. Let me make it very clear from the chair that the practice of the Parliament has been for years together that members can speak in whatever language they are permitted. They can speak in English. They can speak in Hindi. Now the latest is 22 Indian languages. The Ministers can also reply either in Hindi or in English. There is an arrangement for simultaneous translations," he said.
"One may have strong views. I don't dispute with them. This is the policy of the Parliament and also it's an agreed thing. So let us not unnecessarily discuss issues. You may like or you may dislike. So I have given a simple solution to this. No imposition, No opposition. This has to be the policy," the Vice President added.
( With inputs from ANI )