Shaming or demeaning women is a concern for all: Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance Minister replies to DMK members’ allegations during no-trust debate, brings up attack on Jayalalithaa in Tamil Nadu Assembly; on the economic situation, she says that while UPA used to sell dreams, Modi government fulfilled them

Updated - August 11, 2023 01:20 am IST

Published - August 10, 2023 09:27 pm IST - New Delhi:

 Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman drinks water while speaking during a discussion in the Lok Sabha at the Monsoon Session of Parliament, in New Delhi on Thursday.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman drinks water while speaking during a discussion in the Lok Sabha at the Monsoon Session of Parliament, in New Delhi on Thursday. | Photo Credit: ANI

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, participating in the no-confidence debate in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, talked about the Indian economy being in a unique position to achieve future growth, informed about steps taken by the Narendra Modi government to control food inflation and strongly rebutted the points raised by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) members from Tamil Nadu.

Responding to DMK member Kanimozhi’s speech on the Manipur issue, Ms. Sitharaman said she would like to remind her about an incident which happened on March 25, 1989 in the Tamil Nadu Assembly when the then Leader of the Opposition Jayalalithaa’s saree was pulled.

“It is a very sacred sabha, the Leader of the Opposition Jayalalithaa’s saree was pulled in the Assembly. Her saree was pulled and the DMK members sitting there heckled her, laughed at her and made fun of her...” Ms. Sitharaman said, adding, “Two years later she returned as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. That party which was in power at that time sitting in the Assembly today talks of Draupadi”.

Referring to the Manipur incident, the Minister said shaming or demeaning women was a concern for all whether it was in Manipur, Rajasthan or Delhi and should be taken seriously.

Sengol issue

Making extensive reference to Tamil Nadu, she raised the issue of the Sengol (sceptre) and said, “It was kept in some kind of museum, is it not an insult to Tamil pride? So when the honourable Prime Minister restored it to its rightful place in the Lok Sabha it became an issue... This is an insult to Tamils”.

She also mentioned how Jallikattu was banned during the UPA regime in which the DMK was an alliance partner. “It was permitted in 2016 by Mr. Modi,” she said.

Ms. Sitharaman also answered DMK leader T.R. Baalu’s query about the Centre borrowing money from Japan for construction of AIIMS Madurai and said delay in land acquisition by the State government escalated the cost.

She said financing the hospital was the Centre’s responsibility, and assured the members that nothing would be lacking. Soon after her reply on the matter, DMK members and other Opposition MPs including those from the Congress, the Trinamool Congress and Left parties walked out of the House saying that the Minister was “misleading” the House.

Tomato prices

On steps to control prices of tomatoes, Ms. Sitharaman said additional procurement was being done from Maharashtra and Karnataka and was being distributed in Delhi-NCR, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Rajasthan through NAFED and other cooperative societies. Tomatoes imported from Nepal would be sent to cities like Lucknow, Varanasi and Kanpur, she said.

The Finance Minister said tur dal was being imported from Mozambique, urad dal from Myanmar, while around three lakh tonnes of onions had been procured to create a buffer stock.

Talking about the overall economic situation, she said while the UPA government used to sell dreams to people, the Modi government fulfilled them.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has changed this completely. There is a transformation in our governance. Words like “Milega” [you will get] have been replaced by people saying “Mil Gaya” [we have got it],” she said.

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