Indian Ambassador to the United States Ronen Sen’s reported reference to MPs opposing the Indo-US nuclear deal being similar to “headless chickens” sparked a furore in Parliament on Tuesday.
Agitated MPs belonging to the Left parties, NDA and Third Front demanded Sen’s immediate recall and forced adjournment of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha for the day soon after proceedings began.
A clarification and apology from the envoy was read out in both Houses by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who also described the comments as “totally unwarranted and unacceptable”. However, this was not enough to pacify the furious MPs.
BJP leader LK Advani said: “Many people may have been shocked to hear MPs being called headless chickens.”
CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat described Sen as the “ambassador of US President George Bush”.
Sen said many of his comments in an off-the-record conversation were “either misunderstood, misquoted or quoted out of context”. He said the comment about “headless chickens” was a “tactless observation” on mediapersons, not any MP.