‘Reduce your weight’: Venkaiah Naidu’s response to Renuka Chowdhury’s quip in Rajya Sabha
Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu asked Congress member Renuka Chowdhury on Thursday to lose weight and increase the weight of her party.
The remarks, which evoked laughter in the House, were made during the Congress leader’s farewell speech. Chowdhury’s is among the Rajya Sabha members whose tenure is due to expire soon.
“He (Naidu) knows me from many kilos before. Sir, many people worry about my weight but in this job, you need to throw your weight around,” Chowdhury said.
To this, Naidu responded: “My simple suggestion is, reduce your weight and make efforts to increase the weight of the party”. The repartee led to laughter in the House.
Chowdhury also recalled her political journey in the Upper House, during which, she said, she was fortunate for being “the entire Opposition’s united candidate to contest against Najma Heptullah for the Deputy Chair here”.
To this, Naidu quipped, “That would have solved many problems.”
Chowdhury said from Shah Bano to Surpanakha, she has been a witness to history in the making in the House.
“The lot of women has not improved tremendously. It is a pathetic 11% even now (women’s strength in Rajya Sabha). I really think we need more women,” she said.
Rajni Patil, also of the Congress, said it was destiny that she did not get a full tenure either in the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha, to which Naidu said, “then you go to Lok Sabha again,” which again evoked laughter across the House.
She also alleged discrimination against women members of Parliament, calling for a change in the mindset and urged the ruling dispensation for early passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill.