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I.N.D.I.A MPs to intensify demand for Shah's statement on Parliament security breach in last week of Winter Session

New Delhi: The last week of Winter Session is likely to witness further trouble with the Opposition all set to intensify its demand for a statement from Home Minister Amit Shah, especially after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about the security breach in Parliament in an interview to a Hindi daily.

The Opposition is viewing Modi’s interview, Speaker Om Birla’s letter to all Lok Sabha MPs defending the suspension of 13 lawmakers and Shah’s remarks at a news channel conclave on security breach as a “confrontationist” approach and a signal that the government will not commit to making a statement in the House.

On Friday, the I.N.D.I.A parties had decided on a “come what may” strategy with even senior leaders entering Lok Sabha with placards. The 13 MPs were suspended for carrying placards and shouting slogans inside Parliament demanding Shah’s statement.

The Opposition floor leaders would be meeting again on Monday morning to strategise floor coordination, with the government listing three crucial bills to replace the Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act for passage in Lok Sabha.

The parties had raised serious objections about various provisions of the new bills during its scrutiny by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs.

The suspension of the MPs, including floor leaders like DMK’s K Kanimozhi, CPI(M)’s PR Natarajan (both Lok Sabha) and Trinamool Congress’ Derek O’Brien (Rajya Sabha), had also not gone down well with the Opposition. Opposition sources said Birla’s letter to MPs did not address any issue but went eloquent in defending himself and shielding the government.

Parties like DMK, Trinamool Congress and CPI(M) are adamant on taking a stringent stand, as Modi and Shah chose to speak outside Parliament and refused to make a statement in the House when it is in session. Modi and Shah were also not present in the House on Thursday, a day after the security breach took place. The Prime Minister will be in Varanasi, his constituency, on Monday.

Congress General Secretary (Communications) Jairam Ramesh made it clear that they would not shift their focus from their demand though the Prime Minister has said that a probe is needed and not debate and that such a probe is on.

“All that I.N.D.I.A parties are asking for and will continue to press for is a statement by the Home Minister on what happened on December 13 and how exactly it happened,” he said adding the Prime Minister is running away from a debate because questions will be raised on the role of the Mysuru BJP MP Pratap Simha in facilitating the entry of the youth in Lok Sabha.

(Published 17 December 2023, 11:50 IST)

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