Congress MLAs staged a walkout from the Haryana assembly on Thursday after health minister Anil Vij made certain remarks about the Nehru-Gandhi family during the question hour.
Vij, who was replying to a question by BJP MLA from Radaur, Shyam Singh Rana, regarding the construction of a modern sports stadium in his constituency triggered an argument when he said that every other stadium or institution is named after former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. “There are three Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Khel Parisars in Barsan, Nagal and Golani villages of Radaur constituency. One Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Khel Parisar at Radaur and four mini sports stadium in Chamori, Palewala, Naharpur and Jaipur were under construction,’’ Vij, who also holds the charge of sports and youth affairs ministry, told the assembly.
He demanded that names of all such installations be changed and substituted with the names of unsung freedom fighters.
Vij also got support from his cabinet colleague and agriculture minister Om Prakash Dhankar, who said: “Is it not strange that you take a flight from Indira Gandhi airport and land at Rajiv Gandhi airport? What is this?” Dhankar said that credit given to politicians in a disproportionate manner needs to be reviewed by the state government.
Leader of Opposition Abhay Singh Chautala said that the Congress government had struck off the name of former deputy prime minister Chaudhary Devi Lal from the Panipat Thermal Power Plant. “Will the government take a corrective step?’’ he asked
Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar assured the House that if there were any provision to change the names of the installations, the state government would consider it.
Objecting to Dhankar’s remarks Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Kiran Choudhary said the new government was free to do whatever they want. “But they should not drag the name of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. “Yeh ghatiya mansikta hai (This is cheap mentality),’’ she said. Vij then objected to Choudhary’s remarks and a asked to what she meant by ‘Ghatiya’
The BJP and the Congress MLAs sparred with each other soon thereafter when Congress MLA Karan Singh Dalal remarked that Nathuram Godse who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi was a RSS worker. Angry BJP MLAs protested against the remarks of Dalal. Speaker Kanwar Pal then intervened to say that even senior Congress leaders had earlier apologised for such a mistake (calling Godse a RSS worker).
Vij set off another protest from the Congress benches, culminating in a walkout, when he said: “Inki taklif yeh hai ke inhone logon ko yehi sikhaya hai ke azadi ki ladaai sirf Gandhi-Nehru parivaar ne ladi hai ( Their problem is that they have only taught people that only Gandhi-Nehru family fought during the freedom struggle)”.