New Delhi: Union Minister M K Alagiri has
not met Speaker Meira Kumar despite her invitation to him over
a month ago which is being viewed in Parliament circles as
"Whenever the Speaker sends for someone, that leader
or minister does call on the Presiding Officer at the
earliest. It has never happened that she has sent for someone
and that person has not come for over a month," a senior Lok
Sabha official said.
Alagiri, who is Minister for Chemicals and
Fertilisers, was asked by the Speaker to meet her to discuss
his request to allow him to speak in Tamil as he was not
fluent in Hindi or English.
After the Speaker called the senior DMK leader to meet
her, the entire winter session of Parliament passed and,
therefore, such behaviour could only be termed as
"discourteous", the official said on condition of anonymity.
Just after the session, the Speaker herself had said
that she was still awaiting a response from Alagiri to her
invitation for discussion.
Article 120 of Constitution recognises only English
and Hindi as the official language in Parliament.
Due to language barrier, Alagiri is perhaps the first
Cabinet Minister who has reportedly empowered in writing
junior minister Srikant Jena to answer questions in Parliament
and has sought permission from the Speaker to reply to
questions in Tamil.