Home Minister P Chidambaram sprang a surprise in the Lok Sabha on Thursday when he spoke in Bhojpuri, drawing applause and cheers from members.
"Hum rauwa sabke bhavna samjhatani" (I understand the sentiments of all), said Chidambaram as he spoke haltingly the sentence written on a piece of paper in English by fellow Congress member Sanjay Nirupam.
Chidambaram in fact repeated the Bhojpuri sentence telling the members they have made out a "very strong and powerful case" to bring the language under the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution to give it official status.
An impressive orator in both English and Tamil, Chidambaram's rendering of the sentence struck a chord with Bhojpuri-speaking members and won praise from Speaker Meira Kumar, who hails from Bihar.
He preceded his Bhojpuri remark by saying "I am at a disadvantage; I wish I could have replied, at least, in Hindi. Now, let me say in Bhojpuri".
Chidambaram's Bhojpuri encounter came after a discussion on a Calling Attention motion on the issue of inclusion of the language in the Eighth Schedule.
Appreciating the gesture, Meira Kumar, who is also a strong advocate of the Bhojpuri cause, said the Home Minister most of the times speaks in English. "I have never seen him speaking in Hindi, but he has spoken in Bhojpuri. He has expressed the hope that he will come back with good news. I hope he will come back soon".
Chidambaram had said a "good news" on the issue of Bhojpuri language would be announced in the next session of Parliament.
Bhojpuri is spoken in the western part of Bihar, the northwestern part of Jharkhand, and the Purvanchal region of Uttar Pradesh as well as adjoining parts of the Nepal Terai.