BJP, SP stall Parliament over killing of Indian soldiers

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Lok Sabha. PTI photo
Lok Sabha. PTI photo

New Delhi, 7 Aug (PTI): Opposition BJP and UPA’s outside supporter SP today stalled Parliament over contradictory statements by Defence Minister A K Antony and Army over the killing of Indian soldiers on the Line of Control.

BJP demanded that Antony should apologise for “toeing the Pakistani line” when he stated that the 5 Indian soldiers were killed by 20 heavily armed terrorists and persons in Pakistani Army uniform, while an Indian Army statement said the terrorist were assisted by Pakistan Army.

As the Lok Sabha met for the day, Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj slammed Antony for giving Pakistan army a “clean chit” in the attack.

She said while an earlier statement by the Army and the Defence Ministry blamed terrorists and Pakistan Army regulars for the attack, Antony said those involved in the incident were terrorists and people wearing Pakistan Army uniforms.

“The Defence Minister should apologise to the country,” Swaraj said amid din over Telangana and law and order situation in West Bengal.

As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was present in the House, Swaraj demanded a statement from him on the issue stating categorically that Pakistan Army was involved in the attack on the Indian post in Poonch sector in Jammu and Kashmir.

In Rajya Sabha, members were on their feet the moment Chairman Hamid Ansari called the House to order.

M Venkaiah Naidu (BJP) said he has given a notice for suspension of Question Hour to raise the issue.

SP members joined Naidu in raising the matter during the pre-noon sitting.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath rose to make a statement in the Lok Sabha but could not be heard in the din as BJP members kept shouting ‘Pradhan Mantri jawab do’ (PM make a reply).

Yashwant Sinha (BJP) had earlier told reporters that he would move a breach of privilege motion against Antony for “misleading” the House by making a contradictory statement.

In both Houses, Left parties tried to raise the issue of violence against women and alleged violation of human rights in West Bengal, which was stoutly opposed by their rivals from TMC.

In the Upper House, Naidu said said Antony in his statement noted that the ambush by 20 heavily armed terrorists and persons dressed in Pak army uniform took place outside the LoC, while the Army in a statement said that “soldiers from Pak Army” were involved.

“Defence Minister has let down the country. He must apologise to the country and Parliament. He has taken the line of Pakistan,” Naidu said.

Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) tried to raise the issue of law and order in West Bengal but was stoutly opposed by Derek O’Brien (TMC).

All the while, two TDP members stood in the Well raising banners demanding justice for Seemandhra area.

The Chairman asked the members to resume their places so that Question Hour could be taken up. But with members unrelenting, he adjourned the House for 15 minutes.

When the House reassembled, similar scenes were witnessed leading to its adjournment till noon.

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