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Union Minister Faces Privilege Motion After Claiming No Deaths Due Oxygen Shortage

Bharati Pravin Pawar ,Dr Bharati Pawar
Union Minister of State for health, Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar claimed in Rajya Sabha that there were no COVID-19 deaths reported due to lack of oxygen from states and Union Territories. The Congress on Tuesday accused her of misleading the parliament by giving false information. KC Venugopal, leader of Congress party and Member of Parliament moved a privilege motion against on Thursday.

Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar in a written reply to Venugopal’s question had claimed, “Detailed guidelines for reporting of deaths have been issued by the Union Health Ministry to all states and UTs. Accordingly, all states and UTs report cases and deaths to the Union Health Ministry on a regular basis.”

“However, no deaths due to lack of oxygen have been specifically reported by states and UTs.” 

Venugopal had said that the country had witnessed how several died during the second wave due to lack of oxygen in several states including New Delhi. After Pawar’s reply, Venugopal had told reporters that we will move a privilege motion against her. “Actually, the minister misled the House and I will move a privilege against that minister definitely because the minister misguided and misled the House by giving false information.”

What is a Privilege Motion?

Members of Parliament enjoy certain privileges individually and collectively so that they can effectively carry out their functions. If a member of parliament feels that any individual or party in Parliament has disregarded the privilege, a notice is moved in the parliament in the form of a motion. Breach of privilege is punishable under the law of Parliament.

Who Is Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar?

Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar is the Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. She took the post after the BJP government’s recent reshuffling.  She is a member of the Bharatiya Janta Party and was elected as the Member of Parliament in 2019 from the Dindori constituency of Lok Sabha.

Earlier she had contested elections on National Congress Party ticket in 2014 but was defeated by a BJP candidate. After her candidature was declined by National Congress Party in 2019, she joined BJP and won from her constituency.

She graduated with a Bachelor Of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree in 2002.

‘ No Deaths Reported Due To Lack of Oxygen’

The ruling party members faced backlash from the opposition in parliament and several individuals on social media for claiming that nobody died during the second wave of COVID-19 due to a shortage of parliament.  Social media users and many media organisations started posting reports of death during the second wave which were allegedly caused by the oxygen shortage in the country.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi called the Bharatiya Janta Party’s statements caused by an “acute shortage of sensitivity and truth”. In a tweet, he wrote in Hindi, “There was not just a shortage of oxygen. There was an acute shortage of sensitivity and truth then, it was there then and is there now too.”


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