New Delhi, Aug 11: Facing opposition onslaught, government on Tuesday raked up in Lok Sabha the contention of former Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan that she used to receive "requests" from Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi's office over projects and said it was looking into it.
Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar referred to a letter written by Natarajan to Congress President Sonia Gandhi months back when to hit back at Congress members who were shouting slogans against the government during Question Hour.
Mentioning the letter by Natarajan, whose name was later removed by the Chair from the recorded proceedings, Javadekar said she had talked about how projects were stalled and how requests were sent from the office of the Congress Vice President to her.
The reference to Rahul Gandhi's office were also removed from the proceedings later. "people are playing partisan politics. What is more important is this -- my erstwhile minister has written a letter in which she has narrated how from the influence was brought. She has written how the projects were stalled; how the projects were directed saying that the permission should not be given. That is how the regime continued for long," he said, while referring to his predecessor.
He said this is how projects like Posco were "stalled". The Environment Ministry "was converted by the earlier regime to the road block Ministry", he said, at which several members from BJP thumped their desks.
At that time, Sonia Gandhi was seen talking to party leader Mallikarjun Kharge apparently referring to Javadekar's remarks. Kharge stood up asking Speaker Sumitra Mahajan how she could allow the name of a former minister not present in the House being taken.
Rahul Gandhi was present in the House and was seen speaking to some opposition members in the aisle.