Verma, however, justified it saying Rs 1.75 crore was spent on the National Steel Consumers Council (NSCC) meeting in Lucknow on February 3, which was organised to augment the country’s steel output.
Raising the issue, BJP leader Prakash Javadekar said the event marked the ‘worst use of power’ and amounted to ‘bribery’.
"This is misuse of power...This is nothing but bribery. Will the government institute an inquiry? Whether government will enquire into the episode?” Javadekar posed during the Zero Hour.
He alleged that mobile phones, gifts and cash were distributed among 1,000 persons by the Union Minister in his constituency in the event, which had nothing to do with increasing steel production.
The questions Javadekar asked were whether people from steel, house building and related industries can only be appointed as members of NSCC and if it was so, how could the ministry appoint over 1,000 members in this body without having the right background.
He also asked specifically as to whether these people were extended cash and gifts worth crores in the meeting.
In his reply, Verma said Rs 1.75 crore was spent on the event in which Dalits, backwards and minorities participated and charged the BJP of ‘having problems’ whenever something was done for these sections of society.


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