India News

Would PM be happier if I used ‘dhokla’ instead of ‘papri-chaat’, says TMC’s Derek O’ Brien

Delhi, August 3

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s disapproval of his ‘papri chaat’ comment on passing of bills, an unfazed TMC Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien on Tuesday said his intention was to use a cultural idiom to connect with the people over the serious issue and asked if the PM would be happier if he used the word “dhokla” instead.

He stressed that the real issue was the hurried passing of bills in both the Houses without any discussions and even went on to say that the prime minister’s reaction showed that the “TMC is setting the agenda”.

“Passing laws or making paapri chaat,” O’Brien had said on Monday taking a swipe at the government and noting that 12 bills were passed at an average time of under seven minutes in Parliament.

On Tuesday, Union minister Pralhad Joshi said that PM Modi was anguished over the comment and found it “insulting to the people who elect MPs”.

“The TMC is setting the agenda and the PM is replying. Nowhere has the PM disputed the number we have put out of seven minutes. It is a cultural idiom that people understand. Would PM be happier if I used ‘dhokla’ instead?” the Trinamool Congress leader later told reporters.


Dhokla is a popular Gujarati snack.

“I speak in the language of the people. I have taken a serious fact and used a popular cultural idiom to spread the message,” O’Brien said.

The MP and his Lok Sabha colleague Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar served ‘chaat’ to mediapersons on Tuesday and even had their share of the savoury snack.