Haryana minister Kavita Jain broke into tears in the state Assembly in Chandigarh on Wednesday, following a verbal duel with Congress leader Geeta Bhukkal during which the opposition member made a “personal” remark against her, prompting the House to pass a resolution to condemn it.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, when women members cutting across party lines were being encouraged to put across their views, a verbal duel between the two women MLAs from the ruling BJP and the Congress took an unexpected turn after which state Women and Child Development Minister Jain broke into tears.
It all started when Bhukkal, participating in the general discussion on the budget estimates for 2017-18, said it was regrettable that the BJP government in Haryana was not holding any state-level programme to celebrate International Women’s Day.
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Despite Jain informing the House earlier that a state-level programme will be held at Sonipat on March 15 to honour women from different fields and today’s function had to be postponed in view of the Assembly session, Bhukkal said by doing so, the significance of the day was lost.
“I condemn the decision of the state government not to celebrate International Women’s Day. The minister (Jain) is giving a wrong statement in the House. She does not look into her files, it is her husband (BJP leader) Rajiv Jain who does that,” Bhukkal, who was a minister in the previous Bhupinder Singh Hooda government in the state, said.
Bhukkal’s comments infuriated Jain. Joined by other BJP members, including women legislators, she asked the Congress member to apologise and requested Deputy Speaker Santosh Yadav, who was in the Chair, to move her out of the House if she did not tender an apology.
As a heated exchange ensued between BJP and Congress members, state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ram Bilas Sharma tried to intervene. Reminding Bhukkal that she was a senior member of the House, he said she should apologise for the remarks made against Jain.
Sharma said he had proposed that women members be given an opportunity to speak for as long as they want, but was saddened by the behaviour of the opposition member.
Bhukkal said she would give a clarification, but remained adamant that she will not apologise.
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