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PM Modi's 'derogatory' remarks on BK Hariprasad expunged from RS records

New Delhi: Certain remarks made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Congress MP BK Hariprasad in the Upper House of Parliament on Thursday were expunged by Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday as they were found to be "objectionable" and "derogatory". Modi had made the remarks after Hariprasad lost the election to the post of the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson to National Democratic Alliance's Harivansh Narayan Singh.

The remarks were expunged after some members made a demand in this regard, according to the Rajya Sabha Secretariat. Naidu had on Thursday said in the House that he will look into the remarks and see if there was something objectionable. The remarks were made by the prime minister while felicitating newly-elected Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh in the House on Thursday.

Hariprasad said it was unfortunate that the prime minister had lowered the dignity of the House. The chairman also expunged a word uttered by Union Minister Ramdas Athawale during the felicitations.

In a closely fought election, NDA candidate and JDU member Harivansh Narayan Singh was elected as the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson, defeating Hariprasad. As the voice vote remained inconclusive, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu called for the division of votes in the House.

After the voting, Harivansh Narayan Singh emerged as a winner with 125 votes, while Hariprasad got 105 votes in his favour.

Soon after the announcement, PM Modi went to Harivansh Narayan Singh to congratulate him on the win. "I congratulate Harivansh ji on behalf of the whole house. He has been blessed with the talent of writing. He was also a favourite of former PM Chandra Shekhar ji," PM Modi said.

Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad also congratulated Singh and expressed hope that as a Deputy Chairperson, he will pay heed to the objections raised by the Opposition and won't be partial towards the NDA government.     

The post of Rajya Sabha deputy chairman had been lying vacant since the retirement of PJ Kurien on July 1.

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