Despite Venkaiah Naidu’s appeal, the cricketer could only stand and watch.
Politics is just not cricket, sporting legend Sachin Tendulkar realised on Thursday as he failed to get going in his maiden chance to initiate a discussion in the Rajya Sabha.
As the House met at 2 pm on Thursday after an earlier adjournment, a combative Congress buoyed by the verdict in the 2G case continued its protest demanding an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his remarks against predecessor Manmohan Singh during the Gujarat election campaign.
However, Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu was keen that a short duration discussion on ‘the right to play and future of sports in India’, to be initiated by Tendulkar, be taken up.
But Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Naresh Agarwal raised a point of order, apparently in the context of the 2G verdict, and the Chair allowed him.
When Mr. Naidu asked the cricketer to proceed with his speech, Mr. Tendulkar got up ready to elaborate on a subject he is most qualified to speak on.
But belligerent Congress members were in no mood to play ball as several of them were on their feet seeking an apology from Mr. Modi.
In the din of slogans, the proceedings were almost drowned.
Seeking to restore order, the Chairman repeatedly chided the protestors. He sought to remind the Congress leaders that Tendulkar was a ‘Bharat Ratna’, an inspiration for the youth, someone who had done so much for the country, but the opposition party stuck to its stance.
In his characteristic style, Mr. Naidu told the shouting members that all they would achieve by shouting will be “sore throats” and “wasteage of time” as he again advised them to listen to the ‘little master’.
Actor Jaya Bacchhan also appeared to be supporting Mr. Tendulkar’s bid to speak on the issue. But the protests continued.
A livid Mr. Naidu then said that the comments made by the protestors would not go on record and asked Mr. Tendulkar to proceed.
The cricketer, however, could only stand and watch.
Mr. Naidu then remarked that he did not want such scenes to be seen by the people on their TVs and went on to adjourn the proceedings of the House for the day.