Signalling another showdown between the government and the opposition, Congress MP KC Venugopal on Monday moved a privilege motion against Union minister Smriti Irani over her remarks on Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula in the Lok Sabha.
The CPI (M) will join the Congress with another motion as the Opposition parties have joined hands to corner the human resources and development minister for ‘misleading Parliament’ and speaking ‘untruths’ in the House.
When Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan asked finance minister Arun Jaitley to present the Union Budget, Venugopal stood up and sought to know from the speaker the status of his privilege motion against the human resource development minister.
“It is painful for me to do that on the day of General Budget, I had to move a privilege motion against the HRD minister,” Venugopal said. Other Congress members, including the party’s Leader in the House Mallikarjun Kharge, asked the speaker to clarify the status of the notice.
“I have received the notices given on February 26 and 29 against Smriti Irani. The matter is under my consideration,” Mahajan responded. “Through mere rhetoric the minister was misleading the House and the nation by deliberately hiding the truths,” Venugopal said. He said the minister misled the House when she said no doctor was allowed to reach near Rohith to confirm his death. The chief medical officer at University of Hyderabad had contested her statement.
Meanwhile, CPI(M) member Mohammed Salim said his privilege motion will come up on Tuesday. The CPI(M) also plans to move a motion in the Rajya Sabha, if the Lok Sabha speaker rejects the motion. CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the motion can be moved because Irani is a minister, also a RS member and she spoke ‘untruths’ in Parliament which is against her oath of office taken.