Oppn wants resolution against US

Oppn wants resolution against US

The Centre on Wednesday did not heed a demand by several MPs in both the Houses for passing a resolution condemning the United States’ action against the Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade but Parliament did express a sense of outrage over her humiliating arrest.

The government’s strong rebuke of withdrawing facilities extended to the US diplomats posted in India found an echo in Parliament.

MPs cutting across party lines backed the Centre’s effort to restore dignity of New York-based Deputy Consul General Khobragade, booked over her domestic help’s employment controversy. 

In the Lok Sabha, a furious Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav demanded that the House should pass a resolution condemning the US action.

He said he can give a speech here and a statement on the issue outside Parliament but that would not serve the purpose.

Advocating that the country should not fear the US, he demanded the government to move a motion to deplore the action against Khobragade. 

He said US diplomats should also be strip-searched in a manner Khobragade was subjected to.

“Give a strong warning to America. Their people should also be stripped naked. Make them apologise,” Yadav spoke without mincing any word.

Demanding an apology from the US, he cited the earlier cases of humiliating treatment of his party colleague Azam Khan, Union Ministers Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel besides former President A P J Abdul Kalam and former Defence Minister George Fernandes there.

Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj agreed with Yadav for bringing in a resolution condemning the US action to put a lid on the repeated high-handedness shown by the Obama administration. She recalled that even former Indian Ambassador Meera Shankar was insulted.

Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, Lok Janshakti Party’s Ram Vilas Paswan demanded that a resolution against the US action be brought in the House. He said the government should ensure that the US apologise on the issue as the diplomat was kept with criminals and sex workers and the issue concerned national dignity. “Americans should not think that India is helpless. By passing a resolution, we should uphold our dignity,” he said. Some other members also agreed. 

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid hinted at a “conspiracy” behind Khobragade arrest and vowed to restore her dignity during his reply to the debate in the Upper House but omitted any reference to a resolution condemning the US deed as that would have been much stronger. Only in April did Parliament pass a resolution to counter a similar motion by Pakistan, which said India was indulging in “unprovoked aggression” along the Line of Control (LoC).

In the counter-resolution, Parliament had condemned the neighbour by charging that "India is not a threat to Pakistan, but terrorists nurtured by Pakistan are to the entire region.”

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