Parliament proceedings | V.K. Singh’s LAC statement, Rajiv case convicts’ release resound in Lok Sabha

DMK MP Jagatrakshakan spoke about Rajiv killers’ release during the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address.

February 09, 2021 08:53 pm | Updated 09:54 pm IST - NEW DELHI

DMK member S. Jagathrakshakan speaks in the Lok Sabha on February 9, 2021. Photo: Twitter/@loksabhatv

DMK member S. Jagathrakshakan speaks in the Lok Sabha on February 9, 2021. Photo: Twitter/@loksabhatv

A range of issues were raised in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, from the controversy created by Union Minister and former Army Chief General V.K. Singh’s remarks that the Indian Army had crossed over the Line of Actual Control (LAC) more times than the Chinese, to a renewed appeal by DMK MPs to release convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi Assassination case to a new twist given to Prime Minister Modi’s terming of professional agitators as “Aandolan Jeevis”.

Leader of the Congress’ legislative party in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary said the House needed to discuss the controversy created by Gen. Singh when he stated on Sunday that the India-China border had not been clearly demarcated, and while China had transgressed across the LAC up to its perception, India had “done the same” possibly more times than China, without the government announcing it. China’s foreign ministry has termed his statement as an “unwitting confession.” “The government must clarify in the House what Gen. Singh said and how this affects our position,” said Mr. Chowdhary.

DMK MP S. Jagatrakshakan demanded that convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case who had served more than 20 years should be set free. He made this demand during the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address to both the Houses. Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit had, last week, refused to take a call on the plea for the early release of A.G. Perarivalan, one of the convicts in the case, and said that the President of India was the “competent authority” on the matter.

Akhilesh’s protest

The Prime Minister’s coinage of term for professional agitators — ‘Aandolan Jeevi’ — in the Rajya Sabha on Monday while responding to the debate on the President’s address, got a twist in the Lower House. Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav decried the pejorative reference to protesters, especially farmers. He said they were “better than being chanda-jeevi [creatures who collected donations]” a reference to the collection of funds for the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya.

Union Minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti objected to this, saying the donation was being collected on the basis of faith and not coercion.

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