Bhubaneswar: Union Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Narendra Singh Tomar today said that he was not forcing anyone to learn Hindi.
“I am not forcing anyone to learn Hindi. If Tathagata Satpathy has problems in understanding Hindi then he should decide in which language letters should be written,” stated Tomar responding to BJD MP Tathagata Satpathy’s statement on the issue of the former writing to him in Hindi.
The Union Minister, however, didn’t miss an opportunity to take a dig at Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for his poor knowledge of Odia.
“He (Tathagata Satpathy) should first make Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik learn Odia,” the Union Minister added.
Notably, Tomar had written to Satpathy on government letterhead, inviting the lawmaker to organize gram sabhas at district, block and panchayat-level as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘New India by 2022’ vision.
In response to Tomar’s letter in Hindi, the Odisha MP from Dhenkanal had hit out at the Centre for forcing Hindi on non-Hindi speaking Indians.
Satpathy had written back to Tomar in Odia expressing his inability to comprehend the letter written in Hindi.
Reacting to Tomar’s remarks Satpathy said: “How could he know in which language I communicate with Naveen Patnaik and others inside the state.”
How come Hon’ble Shri Tomar writes to colleague in English? And to me in Hindi knowing I am Oriya. Fun or agenda?
– TS pic.twitter.com/f7B2MMAeZL
— Office of T Satpathy (@SatpathyLive) August 22, 2017