Causing a riot of laughter in the House, Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday asked Congress member Renuka Chowdhury to lose weight and increase her party’s weight.
The comment was made in a light vein in the House, which witnessed the farewell speeches of retiring members.
“He (Naidu) knows me from many kilos before. Sir, many people worry about my weight but in this job, you need to throw your weight around,” Chowdhury said in her farewell speech.
To this, Naidu responded, saying, “My simple suggestion is, reduce your weight and make efforts to increase the weight of the party”.
In another such moment, Chowdhury recalled that during her political journey in the Upper House, she was fortunate for being “the entire Opposition’s united candidate to contest against Najma Heptullah for the Deputy Chair here”.
“That would have solved many problems,” Naidu quickly remarked.
Chowdhury also said from Shah Bano to Surpanakha, she has been a witness to history in the making in the House.
“The lot of women has not improved tremendously. It is a pathetic 11 per cent even now (women’s strength in Rajya Sabha). I really think we need more women,” she said.
Rajni Patil, also of the Congress, said it was destiny that she did not get a full tenure either in the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha, to which Naidu said, “then you go to Lok Sabha again,” which again evoked laughter across the House.
She also alleged discrimination against women members of Parliament, calling for a change in the mindset and urged the ruling dispensation for early passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill.