Newly appointed Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde may have had a lacklustre first day in Parliament yesterday but on the second day of the Monsoon session he put his foot firmly in his mouth when he told Jaya Bachchan that the violence in Assam "was not a filmy issue".
Bachchan, who's been a member of the Rajya Sabha since 2006, was opposing the Home Minister's statement on the violence in Assam when Shinde, ever smiling, turned to her and said,"Listen carefully madam, Assam isn't a filmy issue."
While Shinde then attempted to continue with his statement, Bachchan jumped to her feet and shouted him down along with other members of the Opposition for his comment.
However, Shinde, who is known for not dropping his smile, attempted a poor defence and said that he knew her entire family.
"I am from Mumbai, I know the entire family. She is my sister!" Shinde said, and may have quickly realised his error when the protests only got louder.
And if he was expecting any support from Manmohan Singh, seated right next to him, there was none coming with the Prime Minister maintaining an impassive expression throughout as he watched the Opposition MPs protest.
BJP's Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley then calmed the protesting members of the House and said that all the members of the House had been elected on their individual merits and the Home Minister should apologise for his statement.
Shinde apologised almost immediately for his statement, but said he had made the comment only after the Samajwadi Party MP refused to let him finish his speech on Assam.
However, the BJP fired the parting shot with MP Balbir Punj saying that the Home Minister had attempted to debate like a schoolboy. Shinde had no chance to respond to it, but didn't lose his smile either.
Updated Date: Aug 09, 2012 16:03 PM