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Govt on offensive, as post-poll winds of change reflect in Lok Sabha | Political Pulse News

THE IMPACT of the Assembly poll triumphs of the BJP is being felt in Parliament, where the last full House Session ahead of the 2024 general elections started on Monday. On the attack since Day 1, the ruling party is trying to use every opportunity to turn the tables on the Opposition, with the row involving DMK MP D N V Senthilkumar giving it fresh ammunition.

On Wednesday, even before the Lok Sabha Speaker started the proceedings for the third day of the Winter Session, BJP MPs were on their feet demanding “Maafi mango (Apologise)” from Senthilkumar.
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Queries about the PDS during Question Hour were met by Treasury Benches with attacks on the Opposition of being “anti-poor”, while senior ministers came together to decry attempts to “divide the country by talking of a North-South split”. The debate on a J&K reorganisation Bill saw Union Home Minister Amit Shah accuse former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru of “a historic blunder”.

The ruckus during the Question Hour started when Congress MP Manickam Tagore raised a query on the quality of food provided under the PDS and the grievance redressal mechanism for it. Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Piyush Goyal answered by going into praise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiatives for the poor.

When Congress Lok Sabha leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury objected, Goyal shot back: “Do you have any problem with the poor getting free ration? It looks like you have. Then say it aloud… The Opposition leader seems to have an issue with Prime Minister Modi distributing free food to 81 crore poor. It shows their mindset. In Karnataka, they gave a false promise of rice… We do not divide people in this country. But some of them create a North-South divide, some divide the people on caste lines.”

Festive offer

When DMK leader in the Lok Sabha T R Baalu got up to raise a supplementary question over purchase of hardware under the smart PDS scheme, BJP leaders jumped to their feet demanding that he first apologise for fellow party MP Senthilkumar’s remarks in the House the previous day, which had been later expunged.

Goyal was joined by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi in accusing Opposition leaders of “dividing the country by talking of a North-South split”.

As MPs from the DMK and Congress stood up to protest, Goyal kept up his charge, ignoring Speaker Om Birla’s direction to not address a fellow member directly. “He (Baalu) should first apologise. He is their leader. The kind of remarks he made in this House!… How will the House function like this? How can any person say anything in this House and get away?” Goyal said.

“You are a senior minister, you should not be creating issues in Parliament,” Baalu was heard saying. “You should not be a troublemaker, you should be a troubleshooter,” he added.

The Opposition members ran to the front and shouted at the Treasury Benches, while Baalu could not raise his question. The proceedings finally got adjourned, and Senthilkumar later apologised for the remark.

During the debate on the J&K Reservation (Amendment) Bill and the J&K Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, Amit Shah said: “Had Jawaharlal Nehru taken the right steps, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir would have been part of India now; it was a historic blunder.”
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The Union Home Minister also blamed previous Congress governments for the plight of Kashmiri Pandits. “Had terrorism been tackled at the beginning, without considering vote-bank politics, Kashmiri Pandits wouldn’t have had to leave the Valley,” Shah said.

He added: “J&K has suffered due to two blunders committed by Prime Minister Nehru – first, by announcing ceasefire, and then taking the Kashmir issue to the United Nations.”

Later, Shah took a jibe at the Congress for its recent push for OBC caste census, and its raising of caste issues. The Congress had done “the greatest harm to Other Backward Classes”, Shah said, adding that the Modi-led government had done its best to bring justice to the backward classes and to bring peace in J&K.

“I believe the Modi government will return to power in 2024, and by 2026, I hope, there will be no terror incident in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

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Have been in journalism covering national politics for 23 years. Have covered six consecutive Lok Sabha elections and assembly polls in almost all the states. Currently writes on ruling BJP. Always loves to understand what’s cooking in the national politics (And ventures into the act only in kitchen at home). … Read More

First published on: 06-12-2023 at 20:34 IST

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