Can’t discuss China; Covid can be taken up with related Bills: Govt

Written by Liz Mathew
| New Delhi |

September 16, 2020 1:26:54 am





Speaker Om Birla in House Tuesday. (PTI)

The government on Tuesday rejected the Opposition’s demands to raise several contentious issues, including Chinese aggression at the LAC, saying the issue is sensitive and a threadbare debate in Parliament would put the lives of the soldiers there in danger.

Sources said Opposition leaders wanted to have short-duration discussions on the tension at LAC, the pandemic situation, migrant workers’ issues and the rising unemployment in the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting held at 2 pm Tuesday. But the treasury benches are learnt to have suggested that the pandemic could be discussed during the debate on Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill and for the economy issues, Lok Sabha will have a debate on supplementary demands for grants and other financial bills such as Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill.

Unlike on Monday, opposition parties tried to be on the offensive on Tuesday, with many Congress MPs giving notices on adjournment motion. But Speaker Om Birla rejected it.

At least 10 notices have been given for adjourning the proceedings to discuss “crucial issues”. This includes The Indian Express’s report on hybrid warfare by China. Congress leaders Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, K Suresh and Manickam Tagore gave separate notices to take up the issue.“I have received some notices on adjournment motion. But I am not taking them up,” Birla said.

Congress member T N Pratapan, CPI(M)’s A M Arif, RSP’s N K Premachandran, and IUML’s Mohammad Basheer have given notices to discuss Delhi Police’s chargesheet against activists and political leaders. K Muraleedharan (Congress) wants the House to discuss the issue of GDP decline by suspending all other business.

“We cannot let the House to discuss the China situation at a time when our soldiers are standing face to face with Chinese PLA,” a source from treasury benches, who was part of the BAC meeting, said. “The situation is very tense there. If any leader wants to know about the situation, or even about the media reports on China watching, they can have that discussions privately with the ministers concerned.”

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