A heated exchange took place between Union minister Piyush Goyal and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP A Ganeshamurthi on Wednesday after the former refused to reply to a question in English, PTI reported.
During the Question Hour in the Lok Sabha, Ganeshamurthi had raised a question related to Foreign Direct Investment in Tamil.
Goyal, who apparently had missed the translation, requested Ganeshamurthi to repeat the question. However, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader said that the minister should speak in English.
“If I ask a question in English, then the ministers should respond in English only...a member asks a question in Tamil and the minister replies in Hindi,” the MP remarked.
The MP added that he had even given a notice to speak in Tamil.
As per rules, any Member of Parliament who wishes to speak in languages other than English or Hindi must inform the House through a notice. This is done to ensure that a translator remains available and the translation is provided both in Hindi and English to the members.
Goyal responded to the MP saying he can speak in any language he desires, according to The Indian Express. “You can get the translation on your headphones,” he continued. “I can answer in any language.”
Others members of the House objected to Goyal’s response. Bahujan Samaj Party leader Danish Ali said that the concept of “One nation, One language” will not work in the country.
Congress leader S Jothi Mani accused ministers of the Bharatiya Janata Party government of “taking such an arrogant attitude towards Tamil Nadu”.
Goyal, however, insisted that he would speak only in Hindi. “You asked the question in Tamil...I will answer in Hindi.”
Last week, Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor had also sparred over replies in English to questions posed in Hindi, PTI reported.