Congress MP hits out at Thakur after Bollywood actresses visit Parliament — ‘minister fed them sweets’
New Delhi: The Congress Thursday attacked Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur for “feeding sweets” to the Bollywood actresses who visited Parliament this week as it took up the women’s reservation bill.
Congress’ Rajya Sabha MP Rajani Patil’s comment was in the context of actors Kangana Ranaut, Esha Gupta, Bhumi Pednekar and Shehnaz Gill, among others, visiting Parliament over the past two days.
On Tuesday, the first day of proceedings in the new Parliament, Thakur was seen sharing sweets with a delegation of women, including Ranaut and Gupta.
Ranaut is known for supporting the BJP. Her visit came days before her film Chandramukhi 2 hits theatres on 28 September.
In a video, Thakur — while distributing sweets — was seen asking Ranaut if it was her first time in Parliament, and she answered in the affirmative.
Pednekar and Gill, who also have a release — Thank You for Coming — slated for 6 October arrived in Parliament with co-stars Dolly Singh and Shibani Bedi, who are known social media influencers. On Wednesday, they toured the premises with Thakur.
Speaking in the Rajya Sabha during the debate over the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam, 2023 — or the women’s reservation bill — Patil said, “I have been seeing for two days that Bollywood actresses from Mumbai are seen here in Parliament. It has not happened before. They are being photographed, their photo session is happening. We do not deny them entry here. But I saw a photo of our minister yesterday, he was feeding sweets to the actresses,” Patil said.
Seeking to target the BJP over its treatment of women, she mentioned rapes in violence-hit Manipur, and the wrestlers protest against BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
“Those who sacrificed their lives in Jammu and Kashmir recently, you should go to their homes and wipe their tears,” she said.
“Go to Manipur, when women in Manipur are paraded naked and raped, you do not have any empathy for them. Not only this, our women wrestlers who got us medals are dragged on the streets, but you have no empathy for them,” she added, referring to police action against the wrestlers as they sought to march towards the new Parliament during its inauguration in May.
“But you have empathy for Bollywood actresses, you feed them,” said Patil.
This comment drew a reaction from MP Jaya Bachchan, a Bollywood actress herself, who was presiding over the House in the absence of the chairperson and deputy chairperson. She lifted her hands to express objection, but with a smile. Patil also chuckled, and stopped her speech for a few seconds, while looking around.
“I am not saying anything to you because of the respect to the chair,” Bachchan then told Patil, prompting laughter in the Upper House.
Gupta and Ranaut sat in the visitors gallery of the Lok Sabha when the women’s reservation bill was introduced Tuesday.
Speaking to the media later, Ranaut described the bill as a “wonderful idea”.
“This is all because of our honourable PM Modi and this government and his (PM Modi) thoughtfulness towards the upliftment of women,” she said.
Pednekar, Gill, Singh and Bedi were in the visitors’ gallery the next day.
(Edited by Sunanda Ranjan)
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