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Uproar in LS over Israeli attack in Gaza Strip

Source: PTI
July 15, 2014 15:43 IST
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Uproar was witnessed on Tuesday in the Lok Sabha as several parties got together to demand a resolution to condemn Israeli raids in Gaza Strip but the government did not oblige.

Members of Congress, Trinamool Congress and Peoples Democratic Party staged a walkout after the government said it has no intention of bringing a resolution to condemn Israeli raids as any action by the government "should not have any implications".

Parties like Congress, Trinamool Congress, PDP, IUML, Left, Samajwadi Party, Nationalist Congress Party and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen created uproar as they were demanding that the government bring a resolution condemning Israeli action and articulate its voice against the killings in Gaza Strip at the United Nations

Responding to this, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said, "I have noted the views expressed by the members."

Ruling out any resolution, he said, "domestic politics should not affect our foreign policy."

He said the matter is "highly sensitive" concerning foreign policy and "any move by the government should not have any implications".

This led to uproar, with members questioning what implications Naidu was talking about.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan told the members that they all had expressed their views and the government cannot be pressed for a statement.

Expressing unhappiness over the government response, members of Congress, under directions of Sonia Gandhi, staged a walkout. TMC and PDP members also walked out.

Earlier, the members of these parties trooped into the Well asking the government to make a statement. Rahul Gandhi too was seen in the aisle along with some of his Congress colleagues.

The issue came up after PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti gave a notice for adjournment motion during the Zero Hour.

Mehbooba's action of displaying placards was, however, disapproved by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan who observed that no member should resort to such an action in the House.

"World leaders are meeting in Brazil and they include Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They should pass a resolution seeking immediate ceasefire in the one-sided attack on the Gaza Strip," the PDP leader said.

The attacks are "one-sided because the casualties are only on the Palestinian side" she said, adding that among the 186 persons killed so far, there are several women and children.

Noting that India has been an age-old friend of Palestine, she recalled that late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat used to call Indira Gandhi as his sister as "she stood throughout for the Palestinian cause."

Noting that hundreds of students in Jammu and Kashmir were on the streets protesting these attacks, Mehbooba wanted the House to unanimously express concern over the violence.

The Speaker over-ruled the demands for a statement from the government, saying it was not possible to ask the government to react on every issue.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was present in the House.

As slogan-shouting by members in the Well continued, Mahajan adjourned the House for 30 minutes.

When the House re-assembled, Congress member Shashi Tharoor supported Mehbooba and said his party shares the concern over the "tremendous tragedy".

Pointing out that India has consistently stood by the Palestininan people and for "peace and justice", he said Israel and Palestine should learn to live side by side.

The former Minister of State for External Affairs wanted a short-duration discussion on the issue and a resolution on it.

Indian Union Muslim League leader E Ahamad said "innocent people are being butchered" and Israel was engaging in "flagrant violation of human rights", with even women and children not being spared.

Asking the government to raise the matter at the UN, Tharoor said, "This is the country of Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi who always stood by the Palestinians".

Image: Students in Srinagar protest against Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, on Monday

Photograph: Umar Ganie/

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