It may be embarrassing for Shantaram Naik that the question he may have submitted over three weeks ago was listed on the day the Cong was agitating against BJP retaining power in Goa 

NEW DELHI : Goa’’s teetotaller Congress MP Shantaram Naik on Wednesday wanted the Centre to promote the state’’s popular alcoholic drink ‘Feni’ in the foreign markets as a heritage drink.

Asked if the Centre would consider any proposal of the state government to promote ”Feni,” Minister of State for Commerce Nirmala Sitharaman told him in a written reply that her ministry is “willing to consider any proposal in this regard from the state government,” though Goa government has not yet approached them with the request. Naik also wanted to know if her ministry has any time evalauted the potential export value of the drink. Sitharaman, however, replied in the negative, saying the export data for Feni is not separately available as it does not have a separate HS Code.

It may be embarrassing for Naik that the question he may have submitted over three weeks ago was listed on the day the Congress was agitating against the BJP retaining power by alleged horse-trading.

Some may even surmise that he was interested in “Feni” on a day the Congress members paralysed the Rajya Sabha in protest of denial of power to their party despite emerging as the single largest party with 17 MLAs in the elections for the 40-member Assembly.

Naik was, in fact, in the forefront to be the first to enter the well as soon as Congress deputy leader Anand Sharma spoke on the BJP “stealing” MLAs in Goa and Manipur to usurp power, violating the people’s mandate in support of the Congress and called it a “murder of democracy.”

 The Congress members trooped into the well along with him and raised anti-BJP and anti-Modi slogans. The House remained paralysed and was repeatedly disrupted and was ultimately adjourned for the day shortly after 3 pm.

Anand Sharma asserted that the Goa Governor was obliged to first invite the single largest party (Congress) as already clear in two judgments by the Constitution Benches of nine and five judges.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi wanted the “sweeping remarks” against the governor expunged. Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said he would examine and expunge if there is any reflection on the conduct of the governor.

Most distraught was CPI member D Raja, who found the agitating Congress members not allowing even him to raise the issue of the death of a Dalit scholar termed by police as a suicide at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) here.

After an adjournment, the Congress members, however, not only withdrew from the well but even joined the entire Opposition in expressing concern.

Minister of State for Commerce Nirmala Sitharaman told the House that she visited mortuary at the instance of the home minister, met the scholar”s father, students and others and ordered registration of the FIR and asked police to seriously consider all complaints. She is herself an alumnus of JNU.

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