Smriti Irani, Venkaiah Naidu in mid storm over row, Congress looks to take advantage

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New Delhi | Updated: December 29, 2014 12:16:51 PM

The Congress threatened to move privilege motion against Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu and HRD Minister Smriti Irani.

The Congress today threatened to move privilege motion against Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu and HRD Minister Smriti Irani, alleging that they had misled the Parliament over circulars issued to schools for events on December 25.

Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia said the HRD Ministry had issued three circulars to CBSE and Navodaya schools and universities, contrary to the government’s claim that no circular to celebrate ‘Good Governance Day’ on December 25 was issued to Navodaya schools.

He said if the ministers were found to be “misleading”, his party would use “all options” including a privilege motion.

“The government has several times said in Parliament and outside that no circular was issued. Today, we have received three circulars. First circular was issued to the CBSE schools by the HRD ministry on December 9 to celebrate Good Governance Day. There is no reference of an online debate in this circular as told by the government. The schools were asked to conduct debates and other competitions on this day and submit a report.

“Another circular was sent to Navodaya schools on December 10 and was asked to carry out same activities. Then a third circular was issued to all universities, including the IIMs and IITs on December 12 to celebrate this day,” Scindia told reporters outside Parliament.

He also asked the government to come clean and give an explanation over the issue.

“We asked the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs (Venkaiah Naidu) and Human Resource Development Minister (Smriti Irani) to clarify whether such circulars were issued by the (HRD) Ministry or not? Because both the ministers have told the House that no such circular was issued by the government.

“If it is found the ministers have said a wrong thing or have tried to mislead the House then there should be action against it. The government is trying to mislead the Parliament on the issue, which is why we made a walk out. The government is trying to mislead the House and the country,” Scindia said.

When asked whether the party would bring privilege motion against the ministers, Scindia said, “We have all options and we will use it.”

“The (HRD) minister was there in the House, but did not give an explanation on this. The government takes four steps forwards and comes two steps back,” he said.

Scindia added that the question was not about celebrating the Good Governance Day, but was having it on December 25, when Christians celebrate Christmas.

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