French connection: During Monday’s discussion on price rise in the Lok Sabha, as Trinamool Congress MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar rose to speak, her party colleague Mahua Moitra shifted her bag kept on the seat to the floor. The act did not escape the eye of the BJP, with party spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla claiming that “Marie Antoinette Mahua Moitra was hiding her expensive bag”.
Half an hour after Poonawalla’s tweet, Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi also invoked name of Antoinette, queen of France in 18th century, to make a point. “At a time of back-breaking inflation and record price rise, such speeches are vulgar and the epitome of Marie Antoinette ‘let them eat cake’,” Gogoi posted, criticising Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman’s response to the debate in the House.
Breaking ice, warmly: On Monday afternoon, the Lok Sabha was back in business after the suspension of four Congress MPs was revoked. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who was staying away from Parliament due to Covid, extended a courtesy gesture to the Opposition benches, seemingly to break the ice. Wearing a face mask, Sitharaman chatted briefly with Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, TMC’s Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Mithun Reddy of the YSRCP. Telangana Rashtra Samiti member Nama Nageswara Rao also joined them. The Finance Minister greeted everyone warmly before taking her seat.
Maiden mistake: It was YSRCP Rajya Sabha member Niranjan Reddy Sirgapoor’s maiden speech in Parliament on Monday where he talked of the merits of the Indian Antarctic Bill-2022. While supporting the Bill, the new MP had several recommendations for Earth Sciences Minister Jitendra Singh. Sirgapoor got so taken up with making his points to the Union minister that he addressed most of his speech to Singh. Bhubaneswar Kalita of the BJP, who was in the Chair, had to remind Sirgapoor that he needed to address the Chair and not the minister who had moved the Bill.