Chaos in Lok Sabha again over Tawang issue

Debjit Mukherjee: The recent clash between Indian and Chinese troops at Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh rocked Lok Sabha again on Wednesday with the House witnessing brief adjournment following ruckus by the Opposition parties in support of their demand for a discussion on the matter. As soon as the Lower House convened at 11 am, the Opposition led by Congress sought a discussion on the matter. When Speaker Om Birla began the Question Hour proceedings, the they started protesting forcing him to adjourn the House till 12 pm. Earlier in the day, Congress MP Manish Tewari gave a notice to move an adjournment motion in the House to discuss the Chinese transgression in Arunachal Pradesh. This was his sixth notice on the issue. The earlier notices were not allowed by the chair. Manickam Tagore, Congress MP and party in-charge of Telangana, also gave a notice on the similar issue. In the morning, Congress MP Sonia Gandhi along with other MPs of the grand old party and other Opposition parties protested in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in Parliament premises, seeking the government’s response on clashes with the Chinese troops in Arunachal Pradesh. They shouted slogans questioning the silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue. They asked why the prime minister is not giving a statement in Parliament. Congress MP Shashi Tharoor told the media during the protest that there was “no question of criticising the Army. The question is about the country’s political leadership. Why won’t they be doing their job or being politically accountable to the nation? We are not calling the Army to explain but want the political leadership to explain.” Meanwhile, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi took a dig at the Congress and Sonia Gandhi by terming them “Nakli Congress” and “Nakli Gandhi” as they protested in front of the Gandhi statue inside the Parliament premises. “It’s good that ‘Nakli Gandhi’ and ‘Nakli Congress’ remember Mahatma Gandhi. First, they should study what we lost and gained and how we lost permanent membership at the UNSC during their grand old leader Jawaharlal Nehru’s rule,” Joshi said. At the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) meeting held at Parliament’s Central Hall, Sonia Gandhi expressed concerns over the Chinese transgression. Sonia Gandhi, who is the chairperson of the CPP, said, “The continuing incursions by China on our border is a matter of serious concern. The whole nation stands with our vigilant soldiers who repelled these attacks under difficult conditions.” “The Government, however, stubbornly refuses to allow a discussion on the issue in Parliament. As a result, Parliament, political parties and the people remain ignorant of the true situation on the ground,” she said. She said the government has been stubbornly refusing a discussion on LAC discussion in Parliament and emphasised that a debate strengthens national response. The Congress MP said that when facing “a significant national challenge,” it has been the tradition to bring Parliament into confidence. “A debate can shed light on several critical questions. Why is China emboldened to continually attack us? What preparations have been made to repel these attacks, and what more needs to be done? What is the Government’s policy to deter China from future incursions,” she asked. “Given that we continue to have a severe trade deficit with China, importing far more than we export, why is there no economic response to China’s military hostility? What is the government’s diplomatic outreach to the global community? A frank discussion strengthens the nation’s response. It is the duty of the government of the day to inform the public and explain its policies and actions,” she added.