July 26, 2018
New Delhi: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday apologised to Guna MP Jyotiraditya Scindia in the Lok Sabha after he said he wasn’t invited to a highway inauguration function in his constituency in Madhya Pradesh and that his name was missing from the plaque.
As the Zero Hour started, Scindia said: “The local MPs should be invited for such programmes as per the protocol.”
He said that he wanted to move a privilege motion against the Chief Minister (Shivraj Singh Chouhan).
In reply, the Minister for Road Transport and Highways apologised since the function was organised by the Ministry, and admitted that it should not have happened. He also said that he has inquired into the matter and found it to be true.
“I am aware of this and since I was present there (at the inauguration), I should be held responsible. The parliamentarian’s name should have been there. I apologise on behalf of everybody and this will not happen again,” said Gadkari.
A war of words ensued between Scindia, supported by Congress MP K.C. Venugopal, and BJP MPs Ganesh Singh (Satna, Madhya Pradesh) and Narendra Singh Tomar, who is the Rural Development Minister.
Congress leader Scindia was not satisfied with the reply and said that interests of the members of Parliament should be protected and action taken against those responsible for the mistake since it was a matter of breach of privilege of the lawmaker.
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan intervened as Scindia did not relent. “Should I use a stick to give protection (sanrakshan lathh leke dun). I appreciate that Gadkariji showed greatness in tendering an apology but the conduct on the other side is not appreciable.”
“This is not how one should behave (in the house),” said Mahajan.
Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said that MPs should not be treated in this manner.
Tomar said that the matter should not be politicised as the Minister had apologised.
“It is wrong not to invite the Congress MP, but during the UPA rule, BJP MPs were not invited to such events,” said Tomar.
Kharge demanded that the Speaker issue instructions that the MPs should be invited for official functions.
“The government has already instructed that the MPs should be invited for all official programmes in their constituencies. But, wherever this is not happening, they should be invited