New Delhi, Feb 7 (PTI) In an apparent jibe at right-wing supporters, Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Derek O’Brien told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday that Shah Rukh Khan-starrer “Pathaan” carries a beautiful message and applauded those behind the film, terming them “India’s biggest global ambassadors”.
Hindi blockbuster “Pathaan” had quoted controversy and a section of people, mainly supporting right-wing politics, had called for its boycott. However, according to reports, the film has been a huge commercial success.
“You asked them to boycott Bollywood, they showed you one film with a beautiful message,” the TMC MP said while speaking on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address.
In his speech, during which he also attacked the BJP-led government on various issues amid controversies surrounding the Adani Group, O’Brien praised the entire the team behind “Pathaan”.
“Well done (director) Siddharth Anand…. Well done India’s biggest global ambassadors. Well done those of you who made Pathaan. What we could not do, Shah Rukh Khan, Dimple Kapadia and John Abraham have shown this country.
“We learnt from them…. Do not mess with India’s biggest global ambassadors. You asked them to boycott Bollywood, they showed you one film with a beautiful message,” he said.
The leader of the TMC in the House also alleged that the government has consistently weakened institutions, such as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), over the last eight-nine years.
He accused the Narendra Modi government of using investigating agencies against opposition leaders and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to “hound the opposition”.
“Of the 5,422 money-laundering cases registered, 98 per cent have been done in the last nine years,” O’Brien said, adding that however, only 25 people were targeted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the said period.
“You cannot have one rule for the opposition and opponents and one rule for your friends and cronies,” he said.
Referring to the Adani issue, he said a huge amount of money of the poor and middle class is at risk and it is the job of the government and institutions to play the role of a watchdog.
“The SEBI also has a preamble and it is mandated to protect the interest of investors and regulate the securities market. Why was the SEBI sleeping? Why the inaction?” the TMC leader asked.
Shares of the Adani Group were hammered after US-based short-seller Hindenburg Research published a report, levelling allegations related to stock manipulation and accounting fraud against firms led by Indian billionaire Gautam Adnai.
The Adani Group has, however, refuted all the charges.
O’Brien said several scams have been reported and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) needs to ponder about its anti-corruption slogans.
He also spoke on inflation and unemployment.
O’Brien said the opposition voices are not being amplified and alleged that “media owners have their agenda”.
The Rajya Sabha MP, however, added that he is all praise for independent young journalists, who despite all the pressure from media owners, are “still trying to do their best for journalism”.
O’Brien asked the government to bring the Women’s Reservation Bill to Parliament. “Bring it and we will pass it in two days’ time,” he said. PTI MBI NKD RC
This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.