Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday asked the Opposition parties not to divide the country on the basis of north and south India and asked if the INDIA bloc constituents support the remarks against Hindi heartland states by a DMK MP.
Replying to a question related to his Consumer Affairs Ministry during the Question Hour in the Lok Sabha, Goyal said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has come up with the idea of “One Nation, One Ration Card” so that the whole country could be united through a single transparent system of getting subsidised foodgrain anywhere.
"The PM always works to unite the people. But the opposition is trying to divide the country. Some of them even talked about North and South India. Please stop dividing the country," he said amidst vocal objections by some opposition members.
Unwilling to relent to the objections, the minister hit back, saying, “Do you support the statement of a member made in this House yesterday. Do INDI alliance members support the statement of that member”.
Goyal, however, did not take the name of DMK member D N V Senthil Kumar who had made the controversial remarks.
While participating in the debate on the J&K Reorganisation (Amendment ) Bill in Lok Sabha on Tuesday, Kumar said the BJP can win elections only in the Hindi heartland states and not in South India.
While the DMK member's comments against Hindi heartland states were expunged by the Lok Sabha Speaker later, they sparked controversy with several members across party lines condemning the MP and a video of his speech going viral on social media. Facing flak, he later apologised.
Goyal said 81.35 crore people in the country are now getting free foodgrains under the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana.
“The scheme is implemented across India under 100 per cent funding by the central government for the lower incoming families,” he said.
The minister said the state governments have informed that no one in the country has died in the recent past due to hunger.
When Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury objected to Goyal's remarks, the minister asked whether he was in pain since the poor of the country are getting free foodgrains.
He said the Congress could not even fulfil its promise of providing 10 kg free foodgrains to the people of Karnataka and was giving only half of it.
Replying to another question, Goyal said the system of lodging consumer complaints and getting their problems resolved has been made robust and simple and now any consumer can register his or her complaints 12 hours a day through the single dedicated number 1915.
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