Oppn seeks PM’s statement on release of Masarat Alam

RSTV Bureau

RajyaSabha_PTIOpposition led by Congress on Monday created uproar in Rajya Sabha over the release of separatist leader Masarat Alam by the PDP-BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir demanding a clarification from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue.

Congress, TMC, JD-U and BSP raised the issue when the House met for the day, calling it a serious issue with implications on national security and demanded suspension of business to take up the issue.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said “as far as our government is concerned, there will be no compromise on national security” and Home Ministry has sought a report on the issue from the state government. “Some preliminary facts have come and Home Minister will make a statement on issue,” he said.

Deputy Chairman P J Kurien disallowed the motion but Congress members continued to press for a statement from Prime Minister and stormed into the well of the House, forcing adjournment of proceedings for 15 minutes.

Raising the issue Anand Sharma (Cong) alleged that the Jammu and Kashmir government is “encouraging separatists and anti-national activities. . . . We cannot accept this . . . this country is not ready to accept this.”

Mayawati (BSP) said after the controversial statement by Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed crediting Pakistan and separatists for the conduct of free and fair elections in the state, the release of separatist leader “is not in national interest. In one way it is anti-national.”

BJP, she said, should not “compromise national interest for the lust of power” and went on to remind how she had in August 2003 resigned as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh within a year of forming a government with BJP support, as her party BSP did “not want its principles to be compromised”.

Sharad Yadav (JD-U) said it was BJP’s responsibility to clarify on the issue as it had been having parleys with PDP for two months before forming the government in J and K.

As Kurien disallowed the motion, Congress members rushed into the Well of the House raising slogans like “aatankwadi ko chhodnewalon, sharam karo, sharam karo (shame on people releasing terrorist).”

Continued vociferous protests by Congress members deterred External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to make a statement on Tamil fishermen issue raised by JD-U’s K C Tyagi.

Kurien tried to restore order in the House saying it was “unfair” on part of Congress to not allow others to raise their issues.

As Congress members kept shouting slogans in the Well demanding statements from the Prime Minister and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, an apparently exasperated Deputy Chairman P J Kurien criticised them for not allowing others to raise issues.