Nirmala Sitharaman's demand for Modi pic is petty: Bhatti Vikramarka
Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka felt it was improper on the part of the Union minister to pull up Kamareddy District Collector Jitesh Patil and question him for a reason as flimsy
HYDERABAD: Telangana Congress Leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka on Monday slammed Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman in the Telangana Legislative Assembly for questioning a district collector as to why the picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not displayed at a fair price shop in the state.
Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka felt it was improper on the part of the Union minister to pull up Kamareddy District Collector Jitesh Patil and question him for a reason as flimsy as this.
"Why would she want to know how much of the rice sold at fair prices came from the Centre and the state? How is a district collector accountable for these things?," he wondered.
If she has an issue, she should write to the Chief Secretary requesting a review of the Central schemes meant for Telangana, he added.
He also questioned whose picture should be displayed in fair price shops. "Should we stick a picture of the person who introduced the Food Security Act? Should we instead post pictures of the common man paying taxes and buying groceries?," he added.
Bhatti Vikramarka also sought to know if Nirmala Sitharaman went to the fair price shop as the Union Finance Minister or as a BJP representative.
Nirmala Sitharaman faced heavy criticism from the TRS when a video of her questioning the Kamareddy district collector during her recent visit to the state went viral on social media platforms.
The Union minister publicly expressed her anger over the district collector during her visit to Birkur village in Kamareddy district for failing to display the picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a flexi banner at a fair price shop.
She claimed in that widely watched video that the Centre was supplying free rice to the poor as part of the Garib Kalyan Yojana and hence demanded that the Prime Minister's picture be displayed at Telangana's ration shops. Sitharaman argued that the Centre had every right to demand the display of Modi's picture as it supplied the rice for free to the under-privileged.
This invited sharp retaliation from the TRS rank and file. While Finance Minister Harish Rao led the counter-attack in exposing Nirmala Sitharaman's claims, the TRS activists shared a 'tit-for-tat' video showing gas cylinders with posters of Narendra Modi's picture. Below Modi's picture, the price of a gas cylinder (Rs 1,100) was mentioned on the poster, in a cryptic and sarcastic message.
Nirmala Sitharaman drew criticism from Harish Rao, who questioned whether Narendra Modi had ever displayed Manmohan Singh's pictures at a ration shop while he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. He even asked her to explain why the Centre was putting pressure on the states in this regard.