New Delhi, Mar 28 (PTI) In a jocular vein, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu today asked Congress member Renuka Chowdhury to lose weight and make efforts to increase the weight of her party.

The remarks evoked peals of laughter in the House, which witnessed several light moments during the farewell speeches of retiring members who are about to complete their tenure.

“He (Naidu) knows me from many kilos before. Sir, many people worry about my weight but in this job, you need to throw your weight around,” Chowdhury said in her farewell speech.

To this, Naidu wittily responded, saying “My simple suggestion is, reduce your weight and make efforts to increase the weight of the party”. The reparte led to peals of laughter in the House.

In another such moment, Chowdhury recalled that during her political journey in the Upper House, she was fortunate for being “the entire Opposition’s united candidate to contest against Najma Heptullah for the Deputy Chair here”.

This led Naidu immediately quip: “That would have solved many problems.”

Chowdhury said from Shah Bano to Surpanakha, she has been a witness to history in the making in the House.

“The lot of women has not impoved tremendously. It is a pathetic 11 per cent even now (women’s strength in Rajya Sabha). I really think we need more women,” she said.

Rajni Patil, also of the Congress, said it was destiny that she did not get a full tenure either in the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha, to which Naidu said, “then you go to Lok Sabha again,” which again evoked laughter across the House.

She also alleged discrimination against women members of Parliament, calling for a change in the mindset and urged the ruling dispensation for early passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.