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Oppn slams govt for 'not letting them' pay tribute to Gen Rawat

December 09, 2021 16:20 IST

Opposition parties on Thursday suspended their dharna against the suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha MPs at the Mahatma Gandhi statue inside the Parliament complex in view of the death of Chief of Defence staff General Bipin Rawat and 12 others in a chopper crash a day ago.

IMAGE: Placards placed near Mahatma Gandhi's statue by the suspended Rajya Sabha MPs, who discontinued their protest after observing a minute of silence on the demise of CDS Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat, his staff and other officials, at Parliament House complex in New Delhi, on Thursday, December 9, 2021. Photograph: Manvender Vashist/PTI Photo

Leaders of the parties condemned the government for not allowing them to pay tributes to the top-most defence officer in the country inside Parliament after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's statement about the incident.

The Trinamool Congress also staged a walkout in the Rajya Sabha in protest as its MPs were not allowed to speak and pay tributes to Gen Rawat in the House.


A number of Opposition MPs in the Rajya Sabha had boycotted the House proceedings and were sitting on a dharna in front of the Gandhi statue inside the Parliament complex in support of the suspended members.

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said they wanted to convey their condolences over the tragic incident but were not allowed to do so in the Upper House, for which they condemned the government's attitude.

"We have decided to suspend our protest in front of the Gandhi statue in view of the tragic incident in Tamil Nadu and in honour of Gen Bipin Rawat and his wife and 11 other soldiers who lost their lives," he told reporters.

Kharge later said opposition leaders had demanded that they be allowed to pay tributes to Gen Rawat after the defence minister's statement, but it is unfortunate that they were refused.

"We condemn the government for such an attitude. May God grant some wisdom to the government. What kind of democracy is there and how the House is being run when time is not being given to leaders to pay tributes to the top-most defence officer," he said.

Kharge also prayed for the speedy recovery of the lone survivor of the crash that took place near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader T K Elangovan said this government thinks that the House is being run for them and not for opposition parties.

"This government thinks that the Parliament is only for their use and not for opposition parties, This is a sad thing," he said, conveying his condolences to the families of all those who died.

Rashtriya Janata Dal's Manoj Jha said the opposition leaders decided not to sit on the dharna and wanted to convey their condolences.

He said the government could have utilised this opportunity to convey a collective message on such an unfortunate incident.

"I feel the government has committed a big mistake. ...It is working with 'my way or highway' attitude. Please do not see politics on such occasions," he said.

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