NEW DELHI: He drew maximum cheers after Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the swearing-in ceremony of the new government on May 30 and the nervousness of a debutant was missing from his maiden speech in Parliament on Monday as Minister of State Pratap Chandra Sarangi took firm control of the floor and peppered his multi-lingual oratory with shlokas, anecdotes and poetry.
Fielded by Modi to open the debate in the Lok Sabha on the motion of thanks on President's address in a surprise move, Sarangi made the opposition squirm in their seats and left the treasury benches in splits.
He reserved his acerbic best for the Congress and was extravagant in praising the Prime Minister.
"The Sardar (Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel) united our nation and I am confident that my Sardar, our Prime Minister, who has relentlessly worked day and night to serve 130 crore of our sisters and brothers to take development to the last man at the bottom of the pyramid, will help take India to new heights," he said.
The Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, said that Modi came out unscathed from opposition's "false propaganda".
"Satyamev Jayate nanratam satyen pantha vitato devyanam (truth is paramount and son of truth can never be covered by the black cloud of untruth all the time)," said the first-time MP from Odisha.
He said the opposition should be proud of Modi's achievements and cited Odia poet Jagannath Das saying God lives in all.
Starting his speech in English, he switched over to Hindi and quoted extensively from Bhagavad Geeta, Upanishads, Rigveda, Adi Shankracharya and Tulsidas. He sang a poem in Odia and when he was obstructed by members from West Bengal, gave a long rebuttal in Bangla.
He said opposition should introspect after the defeat and should apologize to Modi.
"Jealousy is a double-edged blade, if it cannot hurt the enemy, it will come back and hurt yourself," he said in a dig at the Opposition.