Uttarakhand issue looms large

The government on its part holds the view that the matter being in court cannot be raised in Parliament.

Updated - December 04, 2021 10:55 pm IST

Published - April 25, 2016 02:14 am IST - NEW DELHI:

The budget session of Parliament resumes on Monday at a time when the Uttarakhand crisis has raised political temperatures, with the Congress set to seek a discussion on it. The government on its part holds the view that the matter being in court cannot be raised in Parliament. The fact that the two sides do not see eye to eye on this is likely to lead to a stormy start to Parliament as it meets after a break. Many Bills, including the crucial Goods and Services Tax Bill, are awaiting passage.

“According to Rules, when an issue is pending in court, there is no debate on it in Parliament. But it is the prerogative of the Lok Sabha Speaker and the Rajya Sabha Chairman to decide. We are ready either way,” Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told The Hindu . The matter came up at an all-party meeting that Speaker Sumitra Mahajan held earlier in the day.

The Speaker was also quoted by PTI as saying that that since the matter was posted for hearing in the Supreme Court on April 27 it was unlikely for it to be discussed in Parliament before that.

The Congress on its part sees the discussion as important, with its leader Mallikarjun Kharge telling reporters that many opposition members were in agreement on this. The Opposition also wants a discussion on the drought situation that has gripped the country.

The Ishrat Jahan encounter killing also seems set to rock Parliament, with the Congress calling the encounter fake and the BJP asserting that then Home Minister P. Chidambaram had got the Ishrat affidavit changed.

The Congress held a press conference on Sunday demanding that the trial be initiated within six months.

As Ishrat, an alleged militant on a mission to kill the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, was killed in an alleged fake encounter, the Congress senses an opportunity to corner Mr. Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah on the matter.

Late in the evening, Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched an attack on Mr. Chidambaram on Twitter, employing the word “anti-national” in the context of the change in the UPA affidavit describing Ishrat as member of a Lashkar module.

“In the Ishrat Jahan case, meddling with the affidavits, is there a crime of perjury with a dash of anti-national brazenness?” she tweeted.

Saying that she did not suffer from a “son stroke,” Ms. Sitharaman tweeted: “In St. Kitts afair, the then Rajiv Gandhi govt abricated a fake bank a/c in VP Singh’s name — a crime o forgery [sic].”

With both sides in combat mode, Parliament may see disruptions in the days to come. Ms. Sitharaman also said that the “policy paralysis” of the UPA days were over, accusing Mr. Chidambaram of refusing to see India as a “bright spot” in the world economy.

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