In Firozabad to attend the Vikas Parva being organised all over the country to mark the second anniversary of Narendra Modi government, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar was taken by surprise by a sudden outburst of Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi directed against him.
Javadekar preferred not to escalate matters and preferred to play down the comments of his ministerial colleague, but Maneka’s outbursts would have certainly left him intrigued. For, this is the third time that Maneka, herself a former Environment Minister, has taken on Javadekar in the past six months.
Just last month, she wrote to the Environment Ministry about Amazon, the online e-commerce platform, selling a range of products in India, violation of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. She complained that these products included traps, snares, protected wildlife and marine species, butterflies and beetles.
In response to her letter, Javadekar’s ministry said it had decided to let off the online retail giant after it offered an apology. A furious Maneka took matters into her own hands and demanded from Amazon to produce the list of 200-plus sellers who have been trading in such products on their site.
“We are yet to receive the list of sellers from Amazon and several of these items are still available on their website, such as hunting weapons and manuals on how to kill, trap, maim and snare animals. If they fail to comply soon, there will be no option but to go ahead with a complaint against them for violating the Wildlife Protection Act,” said Wildlife SOS co-founder Kartick Satyanarayan, who has been following up on the issue closely with Maneka.
Last year in December, Maneka had surprised Javadekar by questioning India’s record on climate change. In a chat with a television channel outside Parliament, when Javadekar was in Paris attending the climate change conference, she suggested that India itself had a major role to play in destroying the climate, and blaming the western world for it was no good.
“It is a question of putting the blame always. The West did it… They may have done it hundred years ago. But today India is one of the main players destroying the climate. We, China and Brazil are the largest producers of methane. Coal, animals and rice, these are the three reasons for methane, and methane is 26 per cent more powerful than carbon dioxide in creating climate change,” she had said.