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1 P Chidambaram, Congress MP
'Some people don't want India to catch up with China'
"There are some people in the country who do not want India to catch up with China," the FM said.

Saisuresh Sivaswamy rates the speech:
Suave and urbane, the finance minister used the debate to pitch the line that under his, and his prime minister's stewardship the ship of the economy was in safe hands. And that the UPA was not a one trick pony as the Left accuses it of being.

Rating: I'd give him 7/10. When you know the contest will go down to the wire Chidambaram is a good opening choice. He is articulate, and comes across as a reasonable defender of the faith. Not for him the earthy witticisms of some of the following acts, or an OTT performance.

He also rolled out stats to show that India is truly Shining under the UPA; while city slickers don't need this assurance since they see it every day, for the deprived country cousins his figures could seem like a taunt.

But I loved his line: I do not envy China, I want India to emulate China. Well said. Called for the vote, as he had to, but otherwise, largely tame. Just said judge us on performance, and left it at that.


3 Rahul Gandhi, Congress MP
'We should not fear the unknown'
Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said atomic energy was essential for ending poverty in the country.

Saisuresh Sivaswamy rates the speech:
His was perhaps the most watched speech on Tuesday. The MP from Amethi began in English and when he was shouted down switched over to Hindi to say that he will speak in both. At least hear me out, even if you don't accept what I have to say, he said in Hindi.

Speech is marked by nervousness, too many pauses, and repetitions. A scintillating speaker gives it all he has, and is like a performer. Rahul Gandhi, alas, has a long way to go.

But I give him marks for heart, even if his speech targeted the young voters. He spoke with sincerity, but sounded a little naïve when he drew the energy connection between poor farmers in Vidarbha and energy security.

Rating: 6/10


5 Ananth Kumar, BJP MP
Saisuresh Sivaswamy rates the speech:
The BJP's speaker recalled that in the 1980s the then Congress government entered into the Bofors deal and lost the election after that. Yet, without learning from they are hurrying into a deal with the US.

The prime minister and Sonia Gandhi have kept the supporting parties in darkness, they kept their allies in darkness, they kept their external affairs minister in darkness, and Laluji is always in darkness, Ananth Kumar said sarcastically.

When India has the largest reserves of thorium, why is India rushing into a uranium-based deal, he wanted to know. But he crossed the line when he charged the prime minister with not upholding the country's nuclear sovereignty, inviting mild rebuke from the Speaker.

Overall, though, I found him sensible.

Rating: 6/10


7 Basudeb Acharya, CPI-M MP
Saisuresh Sivaswamy rates the speech:
The CPM MP from Bengal just didn’t know when to stop. Rebutting P Chidambaram’s India Shining conclusion, he made some telling points. One of them:

‘A report of a committee constituted by this government in its last report stated that 77pc of the population of our country are depending on only Rs 20. We have 46 billionaires, one year back there were 26. In one year the number increased to 47, whereas 77 pc of population depends only on Rs 20.’ Is this progress?

Ignoring the Deputy Speaker's frequent interruptions to wind up since his party's quota of time was over, Acharya carried on with his attack on the government till the Chair ruled that nothing more he says will go on record.

Rating: 6/10


2 V K Malhotra, BJP MP
Saisuresh Sivaswamy rates the speech:
The BJP's MP from Delhi and the party's deputy leader in the Lok Sabha covered a wide swathe in his opposition to the confidence motion. The nuclear deal, he pointed out, will make us ghulams. There was no correlation between the cost of investment in nuclear power and the output. The government’s failure to control prices. The misuse of CBI. The Amarnath Shrine Board land transfer revocation even as a Haj house was being built in Delhi. No law to fight terrorism.

Rating. 5/10. There was no blazing oratory, no fire and brimstone. Nor even novelty value.


4 Brajesh Pathak, BSP MP
Saisuresh Sivaswamy rates the speech:
Brajesh Pathak spoke yesterday, today he was back on his feet after Rahul Gandhi spoke to highlight that he was approached by a CBI investigating officer to say that his boss had been exonerated but the CBI was still going after her.

Apparently this IO gave him the necessary documents which he produced in the Lok Sabha which the Speaker Somnath Chatterjee duly collected and handed over to the home minister. After Dumpy Akbar Ahmed, a close friend of Rahul's uncle Sanjay Gandhi, objected to this, the Speaker announced he will inquire into the matter himself.


6 Lalu Prasad Yadav, RJD MP
UPA and Left will always be in love: Lalu
Lalu Prasad Yadav took a dig at the Left parties, saying they were in a 'state of depression'.

Saisuresh Sivaswamy rates the speech:
When the Railway Minister speaks, you can forget your notes and just let yourself be enthralled by his earthy quips and idioms. Today the RJD strongman was in his elements, and even the Speaker could be seen smiling into his palm.

Much needed comic interlude.

Rating: 8/10


The quickies: Asaduddin Owaisi, MIM MP
Saisuresh Sivaswamy rates the speech:
I would like to disagree that the Muslims are against the deal, fumed the MP from Hyderabad, the nuclear deal was signed between two nations so how is it a Muslim issue? And why is the Left voting against this government? A point I agree with entirely, of course. What is good/bad for India is good/bad for Muslims, no deal can be good for non-Muslims while being bad for Muslims, those think on these lines, propagate this line are doing the community no good, I am afraid.

Mehbooba Mufti, PDP MP
Saisuresh Sivaswamy rates the speech:
The Peoples Democratic Party vice president rose to merely say that her party was supporting the government’s motion. Maneka Gandhi’s name is announced but she doesn’t speak.

Omar Abdullah, NC MP
Saisuresh Sivaswamy rates the speech:
Mehbooba’s rival from Jammu and Kashmir gave one of the most impassioned, impromptu speeches in this trust motion. “Parties like mine are not being given a chance to speak. In the 10 years I have been a member of this House, I have sat in the Opposition, I have sat with the treasury benches, and today I am being prevented from speaking,” Omar said as the Opposition kept up its din.

The enemies of Indian Muslims are not Americans, the enemies of Indian Muslims are not the nuclear deal. The enemies are poverty and unemployment, the same as for all poor people in India, he said.

"I am extremely unhappy that my friends in the Left have taken on themselves to decide who is secular and who is not secular. When I was part of the NDA the Left considered me not secular, but the same Left today wants me to vote with the BJP to bring down this government." "I made a mistake when I did not resign from the Cabinet over the Gujarat riots, I did not speak up. But I will not make the same mistake again," declared a passionate Omar.

Rating: 8/10

Veerendra Kumar, JD-S MP
Saisuresh Sivaswamy rates the speech:
The JD-S member from Calicut rose to oppose the motion. Interestingly, even while his party chief was dilly-dallying over which political formation to back, Veerendra Kumar had aligned himself firmly with the Left and against the government.

Kinjarapu Yerrannaidu, TDP MP
Saisuresh Sivaswamy rates the speech:
The TDP leader was blistering in his criticism of the government. “Everybody wants the country’s energy security, but in the name of energy security this government is mortgaging the nation’s interests,” he said. Even the smallest agreements have an arbitration clause, why doesn’t the 123 agreement have one? Charging the government with resorting to all means to get more numbers, he said it was unethical and immoral.

But considering the twists his party chief has taken over the past few years, I found all this talk from Naidu of political immorality etc a bit too much.

Rating: 6/10

The JD-S member from Calicut rose to oppose the motion. Interestingly, even while his party chief was dilly-dallying over which political formation to back, Veerendra Kumar had aligned himself firmly with the Left and against the government.

Others who spoke: Sansuma Khunggur Bwiswmuthiary, independent from Assam, in support of the motion.

Mani Charenamei, independent from Outer Manipur, in support of the motion.

Ranjeet Ranjan of the LJSP for the motion.

Hemlal Murmu of the JMM, in support of the motion.

And, finally:

During previous Lok Sabha sessions I found the Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, stentorian and even thought of him as someone yet to outgrow his school teacher tendencies. But in the most critical session of the 14th Lok Sabha, I must admit he gets my undiluted vote. When he stood up to his party boss Prakash Karat and refused to step down as Speaker ahead of the trust vote -- a partisan demand if ever there was one -- I was all praise for him. And when I saw him conducting the sharply divided trust motion debate with a mixture of firmness, softness and humour, I was doubly impressed. Way to go, Somnathbabu! My rating: 10/10


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