New Delhi: The Lok Sabha on Friday witnessed four adjournments following a ruckus over Union Minister Anurag Thakur’s remarks on the Nehru-Gandhi family while referring to the PM National Relief Fund. The proceedings resumed only after Thakur expressed regrets on his remarks, that had hurt some members in the House. Also Read - PM Narendra Modi Gets Slightly Richer, HM Amit Shah Poorer As Per Assets Declaration
The trust was set up during the tenure of former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and was not even registered as a public trust but it got all relevant clearance, including FCRA, Thakur said intervening during introduction of the Taxation and other Laws (Relaxation of Certain Provisions) Bill. Also Read - Despite Farmer Protests, Opposition Uproar, President Signs All Three Farm Bills Passed in Parliament
“The PM Cares Fund is a constitutionally set up public charitable trust. PM National Relief Fund was set up only for the benefits of one family — Nehru-Gandhi family,” he said. Also Read - Parliament Adjourns Sine Die, Monsoon Session Cut Short by Eight Days Over Coronavirus Concerns
The Congress immediately strongly protested Thakur’s remarks, leading to Speaker Om Birla adjourning the house.
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said his party was hurt by Thakur’s statement against his party leaders and said his MPs will be happy if the treasury benches did not repeat such things in future.
“You made us feel very hurt. The government’s duty is to do work for the welfare of the country while the opposition’s duty is to help the government. Parliament is for both. We will all run this session together. It is the responsibility of both the treasury and opposition benches,” Chowdhury said.
When the House convened at 6 pm after the adjournments, Thakur said, “I had no intention of hurting anyone but if someone has been hurt, I express my anguish.
“Praising members for their extraordinary efforts during this difficult time, the Speaker said the whole world will hail India, which is the largest democracy, for running Parliament in the interest of people in such a situation.”If anyone thinks that the Chair has hurt someone, I would like to say that it may be unintentional. For me every member is equal and protecting every member is my duty,” Birla said.
Thakur’s remarks came as the Bill, which was introduced in the Lok Sabha by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, has provisions about Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM-CARES) fund on which the opposition has raised question on several occasions after it was set up to undertake and support relief or assistance of any kind relating to a public health emergency during the Covid-19 pandemic.
(With agency inputs)