The Lok Sabha witnessed uproarious scenes when the BJP mounted a fresh attack on Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury for his description of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah as “infiltrators”, as well as his remarks referring to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as “Nirbala” (weak).
The Congress also protested in the Lok Sabha, raising the alleged security breach at party leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s residence here and terming it a “matter of serious concern”.
While BJP MP Poonam Mahajan raised Chowdhury’s remark on Sitharaman, saying it is he and not Sitharaman who is “weak”, Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal wanted Chowdhury to seek an apology for the remark against Modi and Shah.
Participating in the discussion on Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, Chowdhury had on Monday suggested that the Finance Minister has become weak and called her “Nirbala Sitharaman”. He made the infiltrator barb at the BJP’s top leaders while speaking on the NRC issue. As BJP members protested against his comment, Speaker Om Birla ruled that any unparliamentary remark would be removed from records.
During Zero Hour on Tuesday, Chowdhury rose to speak on onion prices, saying that the BJP-led government had allowed middlemen to make money. “The markets are on fire because of the high prices of onion,” Chowdhury said.
BJP MPs stood up and shouted that he should not speak until he apologises for his remark. Then Mahajan raised the issue of his remark on Sitharaman. “You are nirbal (weak) as you stand for one family. You are weak as you call the Prime Minister an infiltrator,” she said amid noisy protests by BJP members.
During her reply on Monday, Sitharaman did not directly refer to Chowdhury’s comment but concluded her speech by saying she is still Nirmala and “sabala” (empowered).
There was slogan-shouting from the treasury benches against Chowdhury’s remark. Amid the shouting, Chowdhury said the government is anti-poor and anti-farmer as it is hardly doing anything when onion prices have crossed Rs 100 per kg. However, BJP MPs continued their protests. Amid disruptions, the Congress walked out.
Later, Anto Antony of the Congress raised the issue of replacing the SPG cover for the Gandhi family with ‘Z-plus’ security provided by the CRPF. “If it was foolproof, how did seven people barge in?” he asked, referring to the alleged security breach at Priyanka’s residence. Antony urged the government to not play politics over the security of the family that lost two Prime Ministers in violent deaths.