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MPs complain about 'stale food' in parliament
Wednesday July 30, 2014 9:00 PM, IANS

Members of the Rajya Sabha Wednesday complained that "stale food" was being served to them in the parliament canteen, and said a few members fell ill because of it.

Raising the issue in the house, Janata Dal-United leader K.C. Tyagi said two members - Samajwadi Party's Ramgopal Yadav and Jaya Bachchan - fell ill after consuming food in the parliament canteen, and asked the government to look into it.

"Members are falling ill after eating in the parliament canteen... Ramgopal Yadav and Jaya Bachchan both fell ill after eating there," Tyagi said.

In a lighter vein, Tyagi asked: "Is it a conspiracy to keep opposition members away from the house?"

Adding to it, Jaya Bachchan said this has been happening regularly.

"It has been happening since last 4-5 years... Stale food is being served in the canteen," she said.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said the government will look into the issue.

"We have taken note of it. I will call the canteen and check what is happening. We must not discuss this in the house," Naidu said.

Some members from the opposition benches even said the food was from Gujarat, to which Naidu said: "Some people keep dreaming of Gujarat, what can I do?"

Congress leader Rajeev Shukla pointed out the food may be turning bad because it was now being cooked outside the parliament building.

"The food is cooked outside the parliament building and brought here. I had suggested that this practice should be stopped," he said.

"The food is cooked at 6 a.m. and served till night," he said.

Talking to reporters later, Tyagi said Ramgopal Yadav had to be admitted to the AIIMS, and would have to stay there for four-five days after he fell sick due to the bad food.

"We do not want to raise the issue in the Maharashtra Sadan style. But I want my right to live to be protected," Tyagi said.

Shiv Sena member Rajan Vichare was seen in a video clip trying to force food into the mouth of the Muslim staffer of the Maharashtra Sadan here who was observing Ramadan fast.

Vichare later claimed he was only trying to draw the attention of authorities to the poor quality of food.

The kitchen of the parliament canteen was shifted out of the main building after the presence of gas cylinders and cooking were found to be a security hazard.

The piled up cylinders were also blamed when a portion of the ceiling fell in then petroleum minister Murli Deora's office.

The cooking was shifted to the parliament library building in the complex in 2012 on the order of then Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar. The parliament canteen is run by the IRCTC.

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