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PM Narendra Modi laments absence of humour from Parliamentary proceedings

PTI August 13, 2014 8:14 IST
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi lamented the growing absence of wit and humour in parliamentary proceedings during an event on Tuesday, where he remarked that lawmakers fear how media will play up their utterances.

"Humour and wit are gradually fading away from parliamentary proceedings as members are apprehensive as to what colour the 24x7 (media) would give to even one proverb they utter," he said.

Mr Modi was speaking at a function at which Arun Jaitley, Karan Singh and Sharad Yadav were presented the Outstanding Parliamentarian Awards by President Pranab Mukherjee in the presence of Vice President Hamid Ansari and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan along with a galaxy of parliamentarians.

He recalled a comment by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, during a function in Parliament two decades ago, dubbing him as Lalita Pawar, a veteran actress known for her negative roles.

He said that while the NCP leader thoroughly enjoyed the remark, there was no proper coverage of the light banter.

The prime minister also said that Parliament does not function only on the basis of oratory.

"As long as there is no confluence of oratory, action and leadership, neither Parliament can be influenced nor nations would be inspired," he said.

He also wanted a survey to be undertaken in order to get feedback from the public about the functioning of Parliament. This would provide the lawmakers ideas on how to move forward, he added.

He suggested that the Lok Sabha call a meeting of state assembly speakers to explore the possibility of giving such awards to legislators.

Mr Modi also heaped praise on President Pranab Mukherjee, who, he said, can remember dates and time of historical events and wondered as to "what software his brain is made of."

"A half-an-hour talk with him is like reading a good book," he said.