Some MPs are finding subsidised food served in the Parliament hard to stomach.
Amid din in the Rajya Sabha over the change in the pattern of UPSC exams and bugging of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari's residence, Janata Dal (United) MP KC Tyagi on Wednesday complained that some MPs had fallen sick after consuming food served in the Parliament.
Tyagi said Samajwadi Party MPs Ram Gopal Yadav and Jaya Bachchan had taken ill after eating food served by the Parliament canteen, run by the Northern Railways.
Bachchan said on several occasions MPs had to work till late in Parliament and had no option but to eat canteen food. She said stale food was being served and the state of affairs had been the same for the last four to five years.
Congress MP Rajeev Shukla said he was a member of the Food Committee and had suggested bringing the kitchen back to Parliament building. It was shut down in July 2012 and moved outside to secure Parliament House against fire hazards.
In a lighter vein, Tyagi said it could be a conspiracy to keep the members' mouth shut in Parliament.
Tyagi told reporters outside the House that Yadav had to be admitted to AIIMS for four to five days after he fell sick due to bad food served in the Parliament. Tyagi said, "We do not want to raise the issue in the Maharashtra Sadan style. But I want my `right to live' to be protected."
Video footage of a Shiv Sena MP forcing a fasting Muslim worker to eat at the Maharashtra Sadan during Ramzan had triggered outrage in Parliament and social media last week. Sena's Thane MP Rajan Vichare later claimed he was only trying to draw the attention of authorities to the poor quality of food. The Sadan canteen is also run by Northern Railways.
Responding to members who raised concerns about the quality of food served in Parliament, parliamentary affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu assured the House that he would look into the matter.
The Parliament canteen serves food at subsidised rates. It caters to MPs, official staff and journalists.
Veg thali: Rs. 18
Chicken biryani: Rs. 51
Mutton biryani: Rs. 60