Indore: Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia on Saturday asked the media to focus on issues like farmer suicides and rapes instead of being concerned about party chief Rahul Gandhi's 'wink' in Parliament.
"Farmers are committing suicide, women are being raped, Dalits are being oppressed, lands of tribals are being snatched and unemployment is rising. In spite of all this, the fourth pillar of democracy (press) is more concerned about someone winking," he told reporters, while responding to questions about Gandhi's wink in the Lok Sabha during a discussion on the no-confidence motion on July 20.
"Should the media focus on the issues raised by Rahul in Parliament or should winking be given priority? Was the wink such a big issue? Have you never winked in your life?" the Lok Sabha MP from Guna asked.
Scindia termed the recent increase in the minimum support price (MSP) for paddy and other crops by the Centre an "election bluff".
The MSP was arrived on the basis of an "improper" formula and, therefore, the farmers will not get the correct prices for their produce or labour, he alleged.
Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government over fuel prices, Scindia said, "Before the last general elections, Modi had said Rs 15 lakh would be deposited in the accounts of every citizen by bringing back black money stashed abroad. The government has instead realised Rs 15 lakh crore from the public through costly petrol and diesel".
Scindia, scion of the Gwalior royal family, also objected to being called "maharaja" by Madhya Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. "After Independence, the era of 'raja-maharajas' is over. As a politician, I should be assessed on the basis of my diligence in public life," Scindia said.
Hitting out at Chouhan, the Congress leader said, "If Shivraj is using words like raja maharaja for me, he should also answer why he did not use these words for my late grandmother (senior BJP leader Vijaya Raje Scindia also referred to as 'Rajmata') when he was a BJP worker 30 years ago".
He said Chouhan should be using these royal honorifics for Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia and Madhya Pradesh minister Yashodhara Raje Scindia as well.
The two, both party colleagues of Chouhan, are paternal aunts of Jyotiraditya.
"Shivraj, in his public statements, often describes himself as a backward. But he should know that there is no caste or religion for a chief minister. The Madhya Pradesh chief minister represents 7.5 crore people of the state," the Guna Lok Sabha MP said, taking a dig at Chouhan.
Speaking on the Congress' face (for CM) in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly polls, slated for later this year, Scindia said, "7.5 crore people of Madhya Pradesh are the party's face".
The Congress leader added that 30 tickets should be given to those party leaders who have never fought assembly polls, but have the experience of contesting local body polls.