Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who is known for his reserved nature so far, displayed his sense of humour on the last day of the budget session of the Haryana assembly on Wednesday, with a message loud and clear that he can rise to the occasion when it comes to wit and repartee.
Jibes and barbs rained during the discussion on a calling attention motion on the noise pollution caused by DJs at parties moved by senior Congress MLA Karan Dalal.
When finance minister Capt Abhimanyu explained the government's steps to check it, the speaker quipped that even the House witnessed noise pollution at times, subtly hinting at opposition members.
However, Dalal was quick to respond, "Aap bahar DJs band nahin hone dete, andar Anil Vij ko band nahin hone dete (You don't take measures to stop DJs outside and to stop (health minister) Anil Vj inside the House)". At this point, Capt Abhimanyu asked him not to trivialise the issue.
The House was soon in smiles again when education minister Ram Bilas Sharma started telling a joke with the main character called Ramlu, a do-gooder artisan who tried to repair stone-grind of an old blind woman and spoilt everything, apparently to suggest how the Congress was repeatedly harping on same old issues against the BJP.
Former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda also grabbed an opportunity to have a dig at the BJP while thanking speaker Kanwar Pal, members of the ruling BJP as well as opposition INLD for their conduct in the session and cracked a joke on the BJP which flayed him for his "tall promises made little before the polls".
His joke was about two characters, Pyare and Narsinh, who were contesting a sarpanch poll. "Seeing Narsinh bowing before every one begging for votes, Pyare sarcastically told his rival that he was bending too low. Narsinh then told Pyare, 'To bhai tu inki moonchh paarh ke vote lele, agar le sakta hai to (You try and get their votes by uprooting their mustaches if you can)", he said while sending the House in splits.
At this point of time Khattar stood up and narrated (without any prelude) a joke of a village boy who was tipped off that his forthcoming test would have an essay on cow. Went prepared, the boy instead had an essay on banyan tree.
Khattar softly told the House how the wise boy wrote that he lived in a house with a huge veranda and a huge banyan (badd in Haryanavi) tree. The boy further wrote, 'Us badd ke ped ke neeche hum apni gaayen bandhate hain. Hamari gaayen bahut achchi hain. Gaayon ke do seeng hote hain aur chaar taange hoti hain. Gayen ka doodh bahut achha hota hai…..'' the boy went on and on and completed his essay on the cow, he was well prepared with.
Khattar did not stop here and said likewise his government was well prepared with its agenda of good governance, zero-tolerance to corruption and welfare of farmers etc. "Aap badd ka ped ghar ke idhar laga do yaa udhar laga do, hum apni gaayon ke bare mein achche se jaante hain'', he summed up asking the opposition members that they may try to corner the ruling party, but it had done its homework well, thus instantly evoking a thunderous applause and laughter in the House.
Barbs on ‘muft chaara’
Leader of Opposition Abhay Chautala and senior Congress leader Karan Dalal exchanged barbs during the discussion on a calling attention motion on fodder for animals. When Chautala stressed the need for free fodder, Dalal remarked that Chautala was not seeking the fodder for himself. To this, Chautala sharply reacted and told the House that Dalal did not know what to say, when and how. “Bus moonh utha ke khada ho jaata hai.”
Amid an uproar over the issue of fodder for animals by Congress MLAs, finance minister Capt Abhimanyu and BJP members were also seen urging speaker Kanwar Pal to announce a list of MLAs who just waste the time of the House. Seeking to start this new system, the BJP members said that there were many opposition MLAs whose aim was only to kill their time and waste that of others.
Speaker Kanwar Pal whose role was lauded by the INLD and the Congress leaders for conducting the session smoothly, welcomed the criticism for the same by former speaker Kuldeep Sharma. “Agar sab log achcha achcha kahenge to nazar lag jaati hai, is liye Sharmaji ko kahne do, yeh to kaale tikke ki tarah hai (After a plethora of platitudes, I would gladly take Sharma’s criticism as a ‘black mark’ is needed to avoid an evil eye),” he quipped.
Education minister Ram Bilas Sharma gave a birthday gift to Union minister for rural development Birender Singh when he announced that the state government would set up a college at Alewa in Jind district, Singh’s home turf. Birender, along with Union minister of state for defence Rao Inderjit, was present in the visitors’ gallery on Wednesday. Birender’s wife and Uchana Kalan MLA Prem Lata seemed to have been spurred by the presence of her spouse in the gallery as she took this opportunity to put a question to the education minister. “It is a birthday gift from us. Happy birthday,’’ said Sharma referring to his announcement. Prem Lata later said that it was a mere coincidence that Birender Singh was present in the gallery when she raised this issue.
Public works minister Rao Narbir Singh admitted that road travel in Mewat was tough and one needed a sports utility vehicle (SUV) which has a higher ground clearance to drive through Mewat. “There are a large number of elevated speed breakers and it takes a lot of time travelling from Gurgaon to Ferozepur Jhirka,’’ he said.