Press Trust of india

Opposition in Rajya Sabha walks out on issue of Trump's Kashmir remark

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New Delhi, Jul 23 :  Congress-led opposition on Tuesday staged a walkout from the Rajya Sabha as they demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi make a statement on the issue of US President Donald Trump's claim on Kashmir mediation.

As soon as the House resumed at 3 PM, Deputy Chairman Harivansh announced resumption of debate on The Appropriation Bill, 2019 and The Finance Bill, 2019.

But as Ashok Bajpai (BJP) started to speak, Congress leaders started raising anti-government slogans.

Trying to pacify the Congress members, Harivansh said that already the matter has been discussed in detail in the presence of Chairman Venkaiah Nadu and that he could not allot more time for it.

BJP member Bhupender Yadav said the External Affairs Minister has already stated the government's view on the matter.

"When the Lok sabha is satisfied with the government's reply and work is going on there, this is elder's house and this is our responsibility to run it," Yadav said.

If Lok Sabha can run, then Rajya Sabha should be more productive as an important bill is  being discussed in the House, he added.

Reacting to this, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the government should not try to run Parliament as some "department" of a ministry.

He said it is the responsibility of the Upper House to discuss each and every apect of a bill in a thorough manner.

Azad said that unlike in Lok Sabha where elections are held every 5 years, Rajya Sabha is a permament house which never gets dissolved.

"In the Lok Sabha, bills are passed under various considerations because they have to get elected, there are regional considerations, religious considerations..but this House (Rajya Sabha) there is no such consideration," Azad said.

It is the responsibility of the Rajya Sabha to see that the bills passed in the Lok Sabha are for country's welfare, he added.

"So don't say its happening there (Lok Sabha) and not happening here.. you applied rubbber stamp there and similarly trying to use rubber stamp here.Sorry we are not rubber stamps," Azad said.

He further said: "If this governemnt is trying to run Parliament like a government department, we are sorry we will not adhere to that..Parliament is not a department of a ministry..it will run according to the constitution and law of the land."

Azad alleged the Prime Minister never responds and no minister in the government has the guts to tell him that it is his duty to respond to queries of members in both the Houses.

"Prime Minister has not done that in the past 6 years and today also he is not there, therefore the entire opposition will walkout," he added.

Yadav, while raising a point of order, said that as per Rule 251, the minister has already stated the government's viewpoint on the matter.

Leader of the House Thawar Chand Gehlot said there is no reason why the members should not believe PM Modi. He also appealed to the Opposition members to partipate in the proceedings.

Barring TRS, YSRCP and TDP , other Opposition members walked out.

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