Special Correspondent

Decision to reject report draws flak

Why was the report not accepted? Government stand creates confusion: BJD Ready for structured debate: Pranab

NEW DELHI: The Government's decision to reject the Mukherjee Commission report on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose came in for criticism in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, with members on either side of the political divide demanding a full discussion on the panel findings.

The commission concluded that Netaji "is dead," but he did not die in a plane crash as was alleged. It also observed that the ashes preserved in the Renkoji temple in Japan "are not that of Netaji."

Raising the issue during zero hour, Ramjilal Suman of the Samajwadi Party said the Government did not take the House into confidence. Soon others, belonging to the Left parties, the Shiv Sena, the Biju Janata Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party demanded to know the reasons for non-acceptance of the report.

Verbal clashes

There were frequent verbal clashes between members of the Congress and others. At one point, Deputy Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal expressed displeasure at Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi joining issue with others, saying "I am sorry, at least you should respect the Chair."

BJP Deputy Leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra said the manner in which the report was rejected showed that the Congress wanted to put a cloak on it.

Bharatruhari Mahtab (BJD) said the Government's stand created confusion. The commission, which had a special mandate, was not given access to archives by either Russia or Japan.

All-India Forward Bloc's Subrato Bose, nephew of Netaji, said the Government made a "cryptic" statement that it did not agree with the report. It should have sought time to discuss the report in the House.

D.P. Yadav (RJD), Rupchand Pal (CPI-M) and Anant Geete (Shiv Sena) also demanded a discussion and said the Government's action had made the people curious.

Leader of the House Pranab Mukhejree said the Government was prepared for a structured debate, if necessary, straight away. The commission was set up during the previous Government after it rejected the findings of the Shahnawaz and G.D. Khosla panels. It was not correct on the part of the members to make a point and leave the House instead of taking part in a debate.