A discussion on the PM CARES Fund in the Lok Sabha eventually led to ruckus on Friday, 18 September, as Minister of State (MoS), Finance, Anurag Thakur invoked the Nehru-Gandhi family in his arguments while slamming the Opposition.
There were as many as four adjournments in the Lok Sabha, with the junior finance minister later saying he had "no intent to hurt anybody’s sentiments."
"PM-CARES Fund is a public charitable trust which has been set up for the people of India. You (Opposition) created trusts for Gandhi family. Nehru and Sonia Gandhi have been members of PM's National Relief Fund. There should be a debate on this," Thakur was earlier quoted as saying by news agency ANI in the Lower House.
Calling the Opposition's intention "defected", he went on to say, "Nehru ji ordered the creation of Prime Minister's National Relief Fund in 1948 like a royal order but its registration has not been done even till today. How did it get FCRA clearance?"
‘Who is This Boy?’: Congress Hits Back
The Congress shot back at the Union minister, with the party's MP, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, calling him a chhokra (boy).
“Who is this boy from Himachal? How did Nehru come into this debate? Did we take Narendra Modi’s name? This two-bit chhokra...,” he was quoted as saying.
Earlier, during the Lok Sabha session, Congress' Manish Tewari was quoted as saying, "Since the PM CARES Fund has the name of the institution of the prime minister attached to it, wouldn't it have been more appropriate if this fund would have been created through legislation, rather than as a public trust."
PM-CARES was formed on 27 March this year, three days into the lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, and is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Other ex-officio members of the trust are Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
(With inputs from ANI and NDTV.)