New Delhi: Members on Friday demanded in the Lok Sabha that Bhojpuri and Rajasthani be given the status of official language by including them in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.
Prabhunath Singh (RJD) flagged the issue during Zero Hour saying the Home Ministry has given this assurance in Parliament "2-3 times" in the past yet nothing has been done.
"The then Minister of State for Home Sri Prakash Jaiswal had given this assurance the last time," he said.
Several members from various parties belonging to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan were on their feet in support. They raised their voice to press for their demand and said that a bill should be moved for this.
Singh said these languages are spoken by a sizable number of people and deserved to be given the status of official language. "Bhojpuri is spoken in some foreign countries as well and some of them have even given it the status of the second official language," he said.
SP Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav demanded that Urdu be included in the Eighth Schedule.
Asking the members to calm down, Speaker Meira Kumar said there is no other Parliament in the world where proceedings are translated in 22 languages.
"This is the only House which functions in 22 languages," she said, adding the House is open to the idea of including more languages.
When members pressed for a response from the government, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh accepted that the demand for including Bhojpuri and Rajasthani in the Eighth Schedule has been made for a long time and assured the House that he will convey views of the members to the Home Minister.
"Urdu has already been included in the Eighth Schedule," he said, even as an embarrassed Yadav and some other members thumped desks to welcome Ramesh`s words.