NEW DELHI: Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien took a swipe at the government during his farewell speech for outgoing Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu in the Rajya Sabha as he raised the issue of Upper House passing three farm laws in September 2020 amid high voltage drama when Naidu was not in the chair. He also recalled how no discussion was allowed on the Pegasus issue in the House even as the opposition kept raising the demand.
O’Brien said he is hopeful of Naidu answering these questions “some day” when he writes his autobiography. The TMC lawmaker also made a remark that Naidu should have tried hard to get PM Narendra Modi to “answer at least one question in his tenure” but that did not happen.
Beginning his speech, Derek narrated how Naidu lost his mother when he was barely one year old as he traced his origin from an agrarian family rising to the post of the second highest constitutional position in the country. This made the VP emotional.
Linking this to the passage of farm bills, which were repealed later, the TMC MP referred to September 20, 2020, the day on which the controversial bills were passed. “To me that was a very important day in my outlook about you, and maybe you’ll answer that question some day in your autobiography… On September the 20th, 2020, the day this house passed the farm bills, you were not on the chair… you were not,” he said.
Leader of opposition, Mallikarjuna Kharge thanked Naidu for handling his responsibility under difficulties and pressure. “We may be people of two different ideologies…You played your role even under such difficulty and pressure – I thank you for it,” he said.
Kharge said the House and its members will always remember Naidu. Reading out a few lines in Hindi, he said they were uncertain how the “weather” (mausam) will be after Naidu’s exit, in an obvious reference to the newly elected VP. Tiruchi Siva from DMK said Naidu was a “lion” in the House who could discipline everyone.

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