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Allergic to ‘Congress grass’: Piyush Goyal’s jibe at opposition Congress in Rajya Sabha | India News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Leader of the house in the Rajya Sabha Piyush Goyal on Thursday took a jibe at the Congress, saying he was allergic to “Congress grass“, a type of invasive weed. During the Question Hour, he asked about the weed to environment minister Bhupender Yadav, who was responding to a query on clearing out species of invasive non-indigenous plants from forests.
Without naming opposition Congress, Goyal, who is the Union commerce minister, said, “When I went to a doctor, I was told I am allergic to ‘Congress grass’. I want the minister (Yadav) to throw light on how ‘Congress grass’ causes allergy.”
To this, Rajya Sabha chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar said the minister (Yadav) comes from a place where it (the weed) was a big challenge. “The minister has full knowledge about it. You talk to the minister separately. He will suggest a solution also,” he told Goyal.
Yadav, a senior BJP leader, hails from Rajasthan, a state his party wrested from the Congress in assembly elections held last month.
However, Goyal insisted that the environment minister share information about “Congress grass” with all members of the House. The chairman left it to Yadav to respond.
Environment Minister Yadav said he will follow the chair’s direction and meet Goyal separately on the issue.
“Congress grass” or parthenium hysterophorus, a native of tropical America, came to India accidentally in 1955. The weed is believed to have been introduced in India as a contaminant through wheat imports from the US. It was first recorded in 1955 in Pune and then the weed spread rapidly in the country within a span of 40 years.
Responding to a supplementary question on weeding out alien invasive species of the ‘babul’ plant from Indian forests, Yadav said the concern is genuine as ‘babul’ and ‘lantana’ species of plants are spread widely and affecting parts of forests in the country.
He mentioned that in Karnataka’s Bandipur forest, a tribe is making some efforts to use “lantana” trees to make furniture and art pieces, but the work is limited. This is a big challenge in forests and the government is making efforts to address it, Yadav added.


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