New Delhi: A demand to according 'classical language' status to Marathi was on Tuesday supported by the Speaker in the Lok Sabha who called for a collective effort to achieve the objective.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Shrirang Barne (Shiv Sena) pressed for granting classic language status on Marathi at the earliest. Speaking in Marathi, he said the proposal along with relevant documents have been sent to the Centre by the Maharashtra government.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, who is a Maharashtrian, said in Marathi that all members should make collective efforts in this regard. She hoped Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge would agree. Though from Karnataka, Kharge has an excellent command over Marathi.
Deputy Speaker M Thambi Durai apparently also spoke briefly in favour, but could not be heard clearly as his microphone was switched off.
Jayadev Galla (TDP) raised the issue of creation of VOICE (Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement Office) in the United States to focus on crimes committed by undocumented immigrants.
He said the decision puts immigrants in a poor light and the Prime Minister should raise the matter with the US authorities.
Bharat Singh (BJP) spoke of the presence of arsenic in rivers of his constituency of Ballia, claiming that though he has raised the issue on seven occasions, no action has been taken by the Centre.
His demand for action was supported by some Congress members, including Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.
While Sanjay Jaiswal (BJP) demanded enhanced honorarium for anganwadi workers, his party colleague Ajay Nishad demanded SC status for fishermen.
Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge said the government should prefer procuring tur dal (pulse) from farmers and not rely much on imports. Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, who was present, agreed with Kharge and said it should be purchased at MSP.
He said while creating a 20 lakh tonne buffer of pulses when the prices had hit Rs 200 per kg, government purchased more than 10 lakh tonne from farmers.