Renuka, Brinda exchange heated words in Rajya Sabha

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New Delhi, Mar 17 (UNI) A war of words broke out between Minister of State for Women and Child Development Renuka Choudhary and Left Leader Brinda Karat in the Rajya Sabha today.

During Question Hour, Ms Karat, CPI(M), wanted to know from the Minister whether packaged food was given precedence over freshly cooked food for the ICDS plan, providing MNCs an opportunity to ''use the plan'' to make money.

The Left leader also pointed out that the Planning Commission during the 10th plan had favoured supply of packaged food over freshly cooked food.

The Minister took a strong objection to this and said, ''Please do not attach motive to our decisions.... The Ministry has the same concerns as you for the children otherwise I would not be sitting here''.

''The Ministry has more constitutional authority than the Planning Commission to take a decision in this regard,'' said an irked Ms Choudhary.

This prompted BJP Chief whip S S Ahluwalia to say that the Planning Commission was headed by the Prime Minister.

Then BJP member Arun Shourie said a member of another ''unconstitutional'' body, the National Advisory Board, had pointed out in a note the falsification of records about the declining rate of malnutrition among children.

UNI NR RR RAI1408

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