NEW DELHI: Verbal clashes erupted in Lok Sabha on Monday on many occasions between the opposition and the BJP members on issues ranging from farmers' suicide, funds for MGNREGA and formation of a BJP government in Goa.
Congress member K C Venugopal raised the issue of government providing little funds for the MGNREGA when the House was discussing Supplementary Demands for Grants (General). He claimed the Rs 1000 crore hike was negligible as compared to the benefits it was extending to the rural populace. He also referred to suicides by farmers and said a group of farmers from Tamil Nadu were protesting at Jantar Mantar with the skulls of those who had committed suicide.
On this, senior AIADMK leader and Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai took exception to the remarks regarding skulls and said these were baseless. He maintained that Tamil Nadu government was taking care of the issues of the farming community.
Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge intervened, saying his party colleague was not referring to a particular state but highlighting the plight of farmers across India. He also questioned the demonetisation move and its effects on the GDP.
Venugopal also raised the issue of waiving farmers' loan in Uttar Pradesh and said such loans should be waived off in the entire country by the government. On this, some BJP members questioned him. “Congress has all the rights to seek a nationwide waiver as the previous UPA government had done so,” Venugopal added.
Issue of BJP’s government formation in Goa was also raised as Venugopal referred to the PM’s statement that democracy needed to be strengthened. Terming the move unethical, he alleged that the Finance Minister and then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar were involved in placing a BJP government in Goa despite lacking the numbers.
However, Parliamentary Affairs minister Ananth Kumar countered and said that the Congress member should avoid speaking on irrelevant things and should give a separate notice on the issue so that the House can discuss it.
Thereafter, Kirit Somaiya of BJP listed government achievements on several fronts. Listing the government's achievements in the economy, Somaiya quoted a latest report by PricewaterhouseCoopers which he said placed India as the third largest economy with a total volume of USD 19.51 trillion. He also slammed the opposition for opposing demonetization and said that they have been facing the anger of the people for putting hurdles in India's development.
In another development, BJP ally Shiv Sena joined some opposition parties in questioning the reliability of Electronic Voting Machines. Raising the issue during Zero hour, Sena's Shrirang Appa Barne said several parties have questioned EVMs' functioning and claimed that many of them had raised questions during the recent local body polls in Maharashtra.