Union Minister M.K. Alagiri’s failure to respond to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar’s invitation to discuss his request for speaking in Tamil in the House is being seen as his “discourteous’’ to the presiding officer.
“Whenever the Speaker sends for someone, that minister or leader calls on the presiding officer at the earliest. It has never happened that she has sent for someone and that person has not come for over a month,’’ said a Lok Sabha official.
The Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers, who is not fluent in Hindi or English, wanted permission to answer questions during Question Hour in the House in Tamil.
Following his request, the Speaker invited him to meet her but the Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) leader has so far failed to do so.
In Alagiri’s absence, minister of state Srikant Jena has been handling the parliamentary duties of his Cabinet minister.
According to Article 120 of the Constitution, parliamentary business has to be transacted in Hindi or English.
But the provision also leaves scope for the presiding officers of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha to permit any member who cannot adequately express himself in these two languages to address the House in his mother tongue.
But in this case, the question was Alagiri’s request to answer questions in Hindi.