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After Rajya Sabha washout, govt ready for debate on Gaza

Sushma Swaraj had opposed any debate on the issue arguing it is not primarily concern of Government.

By: Press Trust of India | New Delhi |
Updated: July 17, 2014 8:20:11 pm
rajya-sbha The opposition contended that a “wrong message” has already gone out to the world about the “silence” of Indian Parliament on such a serious issue. (source: PTI)

Yielding to Opposition demand, Government on Thursday agreed for a discussion in the Rajya Sabha on Gaza situation on Monday but not before proceedings of the day were washed out over the issue.

Doubts, however, remain on whether the House will function even on Friday as the opposition was still not satisfied and wants discussion at the earliest.

The opposition contended that a “wrong message” has already gone out to the world about  the “silence” of Indian Parliament on such a serious issue.

The issue echoed for last two days consecutively in the House which saw a deadlock as the opposition persisted with its demand for an early debate while the government resisted strongly, arguing that any discourteous remark could affect India’s relations with Israel and Palestine.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj even wrote to Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari, saying that the notices given by opposition members for a debate are inadmissible but her contention was rejected.

Ansari, however, did not give a ruling in favour of immediate discussion even, saying a date will be fixed for it in consultation with the government.

After the ruckus ensured washout of the proceedings of Rajya Sabha with opposition parties like Congress, Left, SP, JD(U) and Trinamool Congress remaining adamant, the government in the evening agreed to have a discussion on Monday.

Official sources said the debate will take place at 12 pm  on Monday.

“The issue is very serious. It is so serious that it figured even in the Declaration of BRICS Summit attended by  Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A wrong message has already gone out to the world by the silence of the Indian Parliament so far,” said CPI leader D Raja while making a strong pitch for immediate discussion.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad also underlined the international importance of the issue while pushing for a discussion.

The issue had been mysteriously listed in Wednesday’s  business but could not be taken up as government opposed it.

Latching on to the fact that it had been listed, the opposition said no other matter can be taken up till this issue is disposed off.

The House saw a complete deadlock over the rules and  procedures ever since it met for the day, leading to three adjournments before Deputy Chairman P J Kurien called it a day just before 3pm.

The Opposition maintained that since the debate could not take place on Wednesday despite being listed in the business, it should be taken up on Thursday.

Kurien said the list of business is day-specific and so Wednesday’s business cannot be conducted on Thursday.

Before adjourning the House, Kurien asserted that a lot of arguments has taken place over the procedures and “the matter is closed now”. He then called Prabhat Jha (BJP) to initiate discussion on Rail Budget.

This triggered an uproar and some members trooped into the Well, prompting the Chair to adjourn the House for the day.

In his ruling, Ansari accepted the written plea of Leader  of the House Arun Jaitley that the issue be not taken up for discussion on Thursday and the government will communicate an appropriate date for the same soon.

“Accordingly, in view of the provisions of rule 177 read with the communication received from the Leader of the House, the short duration discussion on Palestine has not been listed in today’s agenda paper,” Ansari said.

Citing rules, he said, the “the subject having been already admitted, now requires consultations with the Leader of the House to fix the next date and time for discussion.”

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