DMK member raises issue of drilling in Delta region

Baalu said drilling in the region gets only 0.6 per cent of the total oil produced by Tamil Nadu, adding it has no socio-economic or financial returns. (PTI Photo)

DMK member T R Baalu criticised the Union government in the Lok Sabha on Monday over the issue of drilling in the delta region, saying it yields little oil but hurts farmers.

As he protested against the "unruly and unlawful" action of the government, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said it will not do anything forcefully and invited DMK members for a transparent discussion on the issue.

Pradhan told Baalu that he was a member of the Cabinet during previous governments and added that drilling did not start during the current dispensation.

The minister acknowledged that a section of farmers has expressed concern over the issue.

Baalu said drilling in the region gets only 0.6 per cent of the total oil produced by Tamil Nadu, adding it has no socio-economic or financial returns.

Aam Aadmi Party's Bhagwant Mann raised the issue of low wages for MNREGA workers and accused the Congress government in Punjab of rubbing salt on their wounds by "raising" their daily earning by Rs 1.

Instead of Rs 240, they should be paid a minimum of Rs 500 daily and the money should be paid to them immediately after work, he said.

BJP's Ashok Yadav spoke about lack of employment in Bihar's Mithila region due to closure of sugar mills and other avenues. It has led to migration of youngsters, he said, seeking industry in the region.

Nishikant Dubey of the BJP triggered a row in the House as he accused the Congress of toeing Pakistan founder M A Jinnah's ideology during his remarks on the issue of illegal immigrants in the country.

Those who support Jinnah are backing illegal immigrants, he said, demanding that the National Register of Citizens exercise, currently underway in Assam, be carried out across the country to identify them.

BJP's Darjeeling MP Raju Bista said the hill region is witnessing political violence and blamed the ruling Trinamool Congress for it.

He said the youth are living under constant fear of police.

Gaurav Gogoi, Congress MP from Kaliabor, Assam, raised the issue of exclusion of over one lakh people in the NRC, saying even prominent citizens are not in the list.

DMK's Dayanidhi Maran highlighted cases of lynching in the country.

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