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Faux pas by Vajpayee cools tempers in LS
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 26
Former Prime Minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee was not at his oratorial best. Faux pas in the midst of a serious statement, however, cooled the tempers in the Lok Sabha, where the Opposition and the Treasury Benches were matching one another in raising slogans demanding the resignation of Railway Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav and the dismissal of the Gujarat Government.

At a time when the top leaders of the RSS were huddled at a meeting in the Capital, as part of a strategy, the BJP fielded Mr Vajpayee to demand the resignation of Mr Laloo for the Sabarmati Express mishap. Placing himself on a high moral ground, the former Prime Minister demanded the Railway Minister’s resignation.

He also demanded the Speaker to expunge the name of the Sangh Parivar which had been targeted by the minister in a statement.

However, Mr Vajpayee’s statement, without notice but allowed by the Speaker, was interrupted number of times by the Treasury Benches, particularly by RJD members.

Maintaining that the House could function smoothly only if ministers like Laloo Prasad had some morality, Mr Vajpayee said: “Maine sansad ki garima aur maryada ka kabhie paalan nahin kiya.”

As the House broke into a laughter with the Treasury Bench members thumping their desks, the former Prime Minister realised his faux pas and, looking towards the Railway Minister, said “it was a human error’’, taking a dig at Mr Laloo Prasad for attributing the train accident to “human error’’. He quickly corrected himself and said: “Maine sansad ki garima aur maryada ka kabhie ulanghan nahin kiya ”.

The Lok Sabha had a hearty laugh once again, prompting Speaker Somnath Chatterjee to remark that the atmosphere in the House was different for a change.

On the other side, Mr Laloo brought some humour when he said whenever the Sangh Parivar was in trouble, the BJP put Mr Vajpayee in the front. The ruling coalition members enjoyed this but the Opposition demanded that it should be expunged.

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