NEW DELHI, July 21:
Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur on Thursday took on the opposition parties for protesting against Goods and Services Tax on essential items in Parliament saying they should have raised the matter in the GST Council instead.
Rajya Sabha as well as Lok Sabha have been witnessing loud protests by opposition parties, including the Congress, over several issues ranging from price rise to levy of GST on daily essentials to the Agnipath scheme, resulting in a literal washout of proceedings during the first three days of the monsoon session.
“They (representatives of non-BJP state governments) go to GST Council meeting and do not voice their concerns, but come here to protest and show placards,” Thakur said while replying to supplementary queries on whether the government is taking action against false propaganda carried on social media as well as by some elected representatives.
Without naming anyone, he also criticised some opposition leaders for creating doubts among the public regarding Covid vaccines and the Agnipath scheme. He said despite this, 200 crore vaccine doses have been already administered.
He stated that certain elected members and former public representatives are engaged in creating confusion regarding GST on essential items, Covid vaccination and Agnipath scheme for recruitment in armed forces.
“We urge them not to engage in false propaganda,” he said, and also urged the media not to give prominence to such statements.
Thakur was replying amid continued protest and slogan shouting against the government by opposition MPs, including those from the AAP and Left parties.
Amid the din, Thakur said the government banned 94 YouTube channels, 19 social media accounts and 747 URLs (uniform resource locator) on the web in 2021-22 which were engaged in anti-India activities.
He asserted that the government does not hesitate in taking action against those engaged in anti-national activities.
“Those (members of opposition) standing here (in the Well of the House) do not raise their voice against elements working against the interest of the country. But we have taken action against them,” he said.
Thakur further said some members in the opposition parties protesting in the House engages themselves in false propaganda and spread lies.
To a supplementary question by RJD MP Manoj Jha on recent legal action against fact-checkers, the minister said it was important to understand who are fact checkers and who are involved in criminal activities.
“We have to ensure no one should create unrest in the society in name of fact checking. If anyone complains against such people, the law takes it own course,” he said.
Thakur further said it is the state law enforcement agencies of states take action on complaints, and not his ministry. (PTI)