Chennai: PMK, an ally of NDA, on Saturday welcomed a BJP Minister`s reply in Tamil to a question in Parliament, but claimed its leader Anbumani Ramadoss was the first Union Minister in recent years to have used the regional language.
A day after Union Minister of State for Commerce Nirmala Sitharaman replied in Tamil in Lok Sabha, believed to be the first time, PMK said it was a `joyous occasion`.
"We intend to bring to your notice that PMK`s Anbumani Ramadoss, as Union Minister for Health, was the first Minister in the recent times to reply in Tamil (in Parliament)," the party said in a press release.
To buttress its claim, the party also released a screenshot of the question rasied by then Tenkasi CPI MP, M Appadurai, from the Lok Sabha website where an asterisk mark against Ramadoss` reply states as `Original in Tamil.`
The reply given by Ramadoss on March 19, 2008 pertains to Appadurai`s supplementary on smoking ban and printing "Smoking is Injurious to Health" lines on cigarette and bidi packs besides other tobacco products.
The party said Ramadoss, presently a Lok Sabha member representing Dharmapuri, answered another supplementary question from Appadurai also in Tamil, regarding prevention of liquor advertisements.
Sitharaman had yesterday received the chair`s permission to speak in Tamil after AIADMK member T Radhakrishnan raised the matter of Chinese crackers being brought illegally into India harming the domestic industry in Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu.