Congress to bring privilege motion against Sushma Swaraj

Congress claims the External Affairs Minister gave wrong assurances that the Indians kidnapped in Mosul were “alive and safe.”

Updated - March 22, 2018 05:33 pm IST

Published - March 22, 2018 03:37 pm IST - New Delhi

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in Parliament on Tuesday.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in Parliament on Tuesday.

The Congress on Thursday said it would bring a privilege motion in the Rajya Sabha against External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for her statement on the killing of Indian labourers in Iraq.

Ms. Swaraj made the statement in the Rajya Sabha ,on Tuesday, confirming that all the 39 Indians who went missing in Iraq four years ago have been killed by Islamic State (IS).

Congress members from Punjab, Ambika Soni and Pratap Singh Bajwa, said Ms. Swaraj had given assurances that the the 39 Indians were “alive and safe.”

The party claimed Ms. Swaraj had given assurances multiple times when the Congress leaders brought Calling Attention Motion in August 2014 and whenever the issue was raised in the House.

Minister rejected my sources: Ambika Soni

“When I raised the issue, she rejected my sources and quoted six sources and that later became eight sources. Now my source has been proven right and her's was wrong. We will definitely move a privilege motion against the foreign minister,” said Ms. Soni.

A parliamentarian can move a privilege motion against a Minister or a fellow member if he or she feels their parliamentary privilege of rights and immunities have been breached.

“We would like Sushmaji to tell us whether her sources ever had direct contact with the kidnapped Indians? Is there a video tape? Is there a phone recording” asked Mr. Bajwa.

Forty Indians, most of them from Punjab, went missing in June 2014 after Mosul fell to the IS. In 2015, one of them, Harjit Masih, managed to flee and said all other Indians were killed.

Ms. Swaraj repeatedly refused to buy Masih’s words and had said she wouldn’t declare the missing persons dead until she had a concrete evidence. On July 26, 2017, during the monsoon session, Ms. Swaraj asserted that the government “will continue our efforts to trace them.”

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