'Hope to get answers in autobiography': Derek O'Brien to Venkaiah Naidu on passage of farm laws in Rajya Sabha

O'Brien talked about Naidu's glorious journey and referred to speeches made by him in 2013, including those on fuel prices and phone tapping.
TMC MP Derek O'Brien (Photo | PTI)
TMC MP Derek O'Brien (Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Derek O'Brien urged outgoing Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday to write an autobiography and throw some light on certain issues such as the developments during the passage of three controversial farm laws in the Upper House in September 2020, when he was not in the chair, as well as on bills being passed without adequate Parliamentary scrutiny.

O'Brien narrated the story of Naidu's early childhood when he lost his mother in a tragic incident after she was attacked by a bullock.

Naidu was only one year old then.

The TMC leader said the travails of that child and other anecdotes from his glorious career to the second-highest constitutional post in the country would make a "good story".

Highlighting Naidu's agricultural background, O'Brien wondered why was he not in the chair when the controversial farm bills were passed in the House amid high drama and acrimony and hoped that he would answer these questions someday.

The TMC leader recalled the tragic incident when Naidu, who hails from a farmer family in Andhra Pradesh, lost his mother.

"Cut to September 20, 2020. To me, that was a very important day in my outlook about you and maybe, you will answer that question someday in your autobiography," he said.

"On September, 20, 2020, the day this House passed the farm bills, you were not on the chair. You were not," he said.

Two days before Naidu demits office, the Rajya Sabha bade him farewell, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi leading the House in lauding his tenure and contributions.

O'Brien talked about Naidu's glorious journey and referred to speeches made by him in 2013, including those on fuel prices and phone tapping.

"Sir, one day you will tell us in your autobiography. On March 1, 2013, I remember one more speech of yours. You led the discussion, Mr (Arun) Jaitley was on that side and you made intervention for about five to six minutes on phone-tapping," he said.

O'Brien later shared his speech on Twitter and said: "In March 2013 @MVenkaiahNaidu (then Oppn MP) led a discussion in RS on phone tapping. One day in his autobiography he may tell us who forced him to deny Oppn the right to discuss #Pegasus in #Parliament."

In another tweet, the TMC leader said: "In Sep 2013 @MVenkaiahNaidu made a passionate speech on petrol and diesel. One day he will tell us in his autobiography why from 2017. #PriceRise."

In his speech in the House, O'Brien also said Naidu used to stress that bills should be sent to parliamentary committees for scrutiny.

Noting that he was the only vice president who served four terms as a Rajya Sabha member and who has visited every Indian state, including those in the northeast, he said, "Sir, this we know but someday, you will give us the answers."

Raising the issue of productivity in the House, the TMC member said if one looks at the number of bills passed, he was there, but there is another side to this argument.

"Sir, we would urge upon you because you have at least 20 more years to offer in public life and these are the thoughts we would urge on you. I say this because there is another school of thought which thinks. And you have often advised us to send bills to committees. Why only six out of 10 or why only one out of 10 bills are going. You would say, 'Send bills, scrutinise these Bills'."

"So these are the issues, which I am sure you will address because I know, autobiography or no autobiography, you will speak your mind and guide us," O'Brien said.

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