Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand on Wednesday told the National Assembly that her statement made on Tuesday in the House about asking APNU Member of Parliament Jaipaul Sharma about statutory rape, was not meant to offend anyone, but she continued her refusal to apologise for the remark.
In a brief statement before the start of Wednesday’s debate, Manickchand who was banned by the Speaker from making presentations during the budget debates because of her refusal to apologise for the remark, said she also never meant to interrupt the presentation of APNU Member of Parliament Volda Lawrence, who was making her presentation at the time.
The Speaker acknowledged Manickchand’s statement and moved the National Assembly into the budget debate sessions. It was not indicated whether the ban was lifted.
Moments after making the statement in the National Assembly, the Minister wrote on Facebook that her statement “was NOT an apology to Sharma”.
House Speaker, Raphael Trotman has been warning Members of Parliament about their conduct during the budget debates. It is believed that Manickchand’s statements were directed to the father of the APNU Member of Parliament.
Popular TV host CN Sharma is the father of Jaipaul Sharma. CN Sharma was charged a few years ago in connection with a carnal knowledge probe. The matter is still before the court.