Congress seeks PM’s statement on Kashmir issue, walks out of Lok Sabha

More than 30 members, mainly from the Congress, were in the Well shouting slogans even as Speaker Om Birla went ahead with the Question Hour.
Congress seeks PM’s statement on Kashmir issue, walks out of Lok Sabha

The Congress on Wednesday walked out of the Lok Sabha,demanding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi make a statement on US PresidentDonald Trump's claim on Kashmir mediation.

The Lower House witnessed vociferous protests from oppositionparties over the issue.

"We want to hear the facts from the horse's mouth. Whatis wrong in this demand. We want that the prime minister should come and give astatement," Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said.

As opposition parties were shouting slogans in the well, LokSabha Speaker Om Birla gave them time to raise the issue.

However, when Defence Minister Rajnath Singh stood for thereply, the Congress staged a walkout from the House demanding a reply from theprime minister.

Chowdhury said people want to know what transpired betweenthe US President and the Prime Minister Modi in Osaka in June.

He said under the Shimla agreement, Kashmir is a bilateralissue and no third party mediation is acceptable.

"But we are seeing that the US President stated thatPrime Minister Modi asked for mediation," he said, adding this fact couldbe right or wrong but neither the US President nor the Prime Minister hasdenied this.

"He (Modi) is giving answers through his representatives,"he said.

DMK leader T R Baalu said it was a strange situation thatopposition parties have to demand the presence of the prime minister in theHouse.

The Lok Sabha witnessed ruckus for the second straight dayon Wednesday on the issue.

Joined by members from some other Opposition parties,Congress members trooped into the Well soon after the Question Hour began andwere engaged in sloganeering.

More than 30 members, mainly from the Congress, were in theWell shouting slogans even as Speaker Om Birla went ahead with the QuestionHour.

On Monday, Trump claimed that Modi had asked him to play therole of a mediator on Kashmir but the government said the prime minister madeno request to Trump.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said thatExternal Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has already clarified on the issue andwondered what was the problem now.

Later, he was seen having a chat with Home Minister AmitShah.

As the uproar continued, Joshi said that while no doubtabout the issue is left since the External Affairs Minister has already given astatement, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh would respond during Zero Hour as theOpposition has again raised the matter.

However, protesting members were not convinced and continuedwith their sloganeering. They were heard shouting 'Prime Minister jawab dojawab do' (Prime Minister should answer).

On Tuesday also, the Opposition had sought a response fromthe prime minister on the issue.

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