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Posted at: Mar 9, 2018, 12:45 AM; last updated: Mar 9, 2018, 12:45 AM (IST)

Education Minister’s remark sours Women’s Day

Education Minister’s remark sours Women’s Day
Minister Ram Bilas Sharma gives ‘shagun’ to Congress MLA Shakuntala Khatak on Thursday. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari

Geetanjali Gayatri

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 8

The BJP government in the state may have celebrated Women’s Day at a special function, but the discourse during the ongoing Budget session of the Vidhan Sabha was far from flattering to the status of women here today.

Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma topped the list with his “distasteful” remark in response to a request by INLD MLA Parminder Dhull, who demanded higher compensation for land acquired under the Congress rule in his constituency.

Seeking to know if the present BJP government would, in keeping with its claim of equal development, undo this particular wrong of the previous government and award higher compensation, Dhull demanded “justice” for his constituency.

Sharma, Parliamentary Affairs Minister, immediately retorted with a Haryanvi saying, “Nani khasam karkay bhaag gayi, dohton ko dosh dey rahay ho.” It implied that Dhull was seeking justice from the present government for injustice meted out to his constituency by the previous government.

However, literally translated, the saying meant that the grandmother eloped after marrying and the grandchildren were being blamed for it.

Congress MLA Geeta Bhukkal raised objections on this statement and was seconded by MLA Shakuntala Khatak while other party MLAs, Karan Dalal and Kuldeep Sharma also supported them.

“On Women’s Day, we expected a few good words. It is shameful that the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, who is also the Education Minister, chose these words on a day meant to honour womanhood. I wonder what kind of education is imparted under his leadership,” she said.

Despite objections, Sharma got away with his choice of words after Haryana Vidhan Sabha Speaker Kanwar Pal Gujjar and the minister justified it in the name of Haryanavi dialect, maintaining that it was with reference to nobody in particular.

Earlier, during the question hour, BJP MLA Seema Trikha, disappointed with the lack of development in Faridabad, chose to compare it to the episode of the disrobing of Draupadi in the Mahabharta.

She said all the funds generated from Faridabad had been taken away and the only parallel she could draw was the disrobing episode.

Meanwhile, for the second day running, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, the Leader of the House, stayed away from the first sitting of the session.

Sources said he was busy preparing his reply to be given in the second sitting scheduled for the day.

The Leader of Opposition, Abhay Chautala, and Congress Legislature Party leader Kiran Choudhry, too, were absent from the House.

The officers’ gallery, too, wore a deserted look, though the Chief Secretary, DS Dhesi, was the only permanent occupant for the better part of the day.

Sources claimed that the government had prepared a roaster for the officers by way of which five senior officers would always attend the House. However, they, too, choose to spend most of the time in the lobby than in the gallery, while the others have presumed that the roaster means exemption for all the others. Senior officers who have questions slated for the question hour, too, leave once their question is over.


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