Shashi Tharoor turns to Twitter as Lok Sabha witnesses disruptions

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor. File photo

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor. File photo   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Thiruvananthapuram MP posted on Twitter the questions he would have raised had the Lok Sabha functioned.

Unhappy that the Lok Sabha is not able to do any business due to repeated disruptions, Congress leader and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor on Thursday posted on Twitter his questions and arguments which, he said, he would have otherwise brought up in the House.

The winter session of Parliament, which began on December 11, is witnessing repeated adjournments over various issues, including Urjit Patel's resignation as RBI Governor, Ram Janmabhoomi issue, and the Rafale fighter jet deal.

The Lok Sabha was first adjourned for 10 minutes and then for the day on Thursday after Shiv Sena MPs trooped into the well of the House demanding an Ordinance for the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya.

“As the Lok Sabha has been unable to transact any business for the third successive day, I thought I’d raise publicly some of the supplementary questions I might have asked, had I had the chance,” Mr. Tharoor tweeted on Thursday.

Stating that the proposed Sabari Rail project was getting “inordinately delayed,” Mr. Tharoor, tagging Union Raliway Minister Piyush Goyal, asked if the Centre can fund and expedite the project that aims to connect the pilgrim centre with the country’s railway network. He also suggested the Railways to explore technological solutions such as “Bandicoot” robot to do away with manual scavenging.


“The Govt has repeatedly claimed that the Ministry of Corporate Affairs’ data is unstable... is that why your GDP back series is unstable as well?” This was Mr. Tharoor’s next poser. He sought a reply from Minister of Statistics D.V. Sadananda Gowda.

Tagging Surface Transport and Waterways Minister Nitin Gadkari, Mr. Tharoor asked if the government had undertaken a review of NHAI projects that were reportedly getting delayed. He also asked Mr. Gadkari if his ministry has undertaken a study on the environmental impact of dredging before approving the inland waterways project on the Yamuna.

“Will the Govt consider Universal Pension Schemes, and adopt exclusion criteria such those who pay income tax?” This was his last poser directed at Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar. None of the Ministers have replied to Mr. Tharoor’s tweets so far.

Mr. Tharoor also made public the answers he received from the government on questions he had raised earlier. These were unstarred questions, where the Ministry concerned gives a written reply to the Member, and are not discussed on the floor of the House.

On a series of questions related to the Union government’s irrigation scheme, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana, Mr. Tharoor said he was “shocked to note that not one of the 83 projects sanctioned for Kerala under WDC-PMKSY has been completed.” He also said that only 419 farmers in Kerala had benefited this year from the Watershed Development Component of the scheme.

Law to ban torture

Under Rule 377, Mr. Tharoor urged the government to bring a legislation against torture. He would have got a chance to make the plea in the House on Thursday had Lok Sabha functioned. However, his notice made it to the House records. “Since I was unable to deliver my speech owing to disruptions, I am posting the arguments that I wished to place before the House in the thread that follows,” Mr. Tharoor wrote on Twitter.

“Torture is a moral affront to the conscience of every India and a total violation of our Constitutional ethos,” Mr. Tharoor said in his notice, pointing out that nearly a thousand people died in custody last year.

Pointing to the custodial death of Kerala youth Sreejeev, which hit national headlines when the victim’s brother undertook a solitary protest in front of the Kerala Secretariat, Mr. Tharoor reminded that a Bill against torture brought in Lok Sabha in 2010 has lapsed. He also reminded that India has not ratified the United Nations Convention Against Torture, which was signed in 1997.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 5:07:25 PM |

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