A visibly angry Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the Lok Sabha twice amid noisy scenes on Wednesday. At the first instance, the Speaker adjourned the House after Minister for Food Processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal kept speaking despite being repeatedly told to take her seat.
“I am not allowing Shrimati Harsimrat Kaur,” the Speaker said as the minister tried to join the issue with Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge over the Amethi food park issue.
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It started with Kharge accusing the government of practising “politics of vendetta” by cancelling the projects cleared by the previous UPA government or putting them on the back burner. He cited the examples of a canal project in Rajasthan named after Indira Gandhi and an addition of a 1,000-bed National Cancer Institute to the AIIMS in Delhi.
Thereafter, he mentioned the scraping of the Amethi food park project, which was earlier raised by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. “If this is not politics of vendetta, what is it?” he said. Kharge also referred to the statement made by Badal on the cancellation of the food park.
Badal, who seemed to have come prepared to speak on the issue, was seen persuaded by HRD Minister Smriti Irani and BJP MP Kirit Somaiya to stand up. As she tried to speak, Congress members rushed to the Well. They were agitated because Badal had already spoken twice on the issue.
As the Speaker told Badal to sit down, she argued that Kharge had mentioned her name. Mahajan then told her that “explanations are not given everyday”, and added that Kharge had mentioned her name in connection with Tuesday’s proceedings. “Everyday it will not happen… I am not allowing you,” she told Badal. As the minister persisted and Kharge uttered “agar (If)”, a visibly upset Speaker said: “Don’t start this war of ‘agar-magar’ (if and but)… There is no fight here.”
Congress members, however, continued their protest, forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House for 15 minutes.