The government delayed the announcement of former Union minister E Ahamed’s death deliberately, the Congress alleged on Wednesday, indicating that the NDA administration didn’t want to postpone the Union budget.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Congress Lok Sabha leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the government knew that Ahamed – who died of a cardiac arrest in Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohia hospital at 2.15am on Wednesday – had passed away but tried to delay the announcement.
Paid tributes to late Mr. E Ahamed. pic.twitter.com/DzjQvbaZ15— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 1, 2017
“I think the government already knew that he had passed away, but they were trying to maybe delay announcement,” Kharge told ANI.
“This was an inhuman act.”
But Union minister Venkaiah Naidu said there should not be any controversy over the issue.
“Budget has a sanctity...we are already in the 11th hour...It’s constitutional obligation,” ANI quoted him as saying.
Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan told ANI: “We have to keep in mind that budget is a constitutional obligation, (it) will have to be presented.”
Usually, the death of a sitting House member is followed by adjournment of the House after obituary references – meaning that the budget would have to be postponed.
The comments came after a night of drama at the RML hospital as Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her political secretary Ahmed Patel reached the hospital after getting a message from E Ahamad’s son and daughter, both doctors, saying that they were not being allowed to see their father. Hospital authorities relented later.