Union minister in arms deal: Opp

Serious issue of national security is trivialised, says Brinda Karat


Although the matter was raised by CPM member Moinul Hassan during the Zero Hour, he was soon joined by his colleagues from the BJP, AIADMK, Shiv Sena, SP, JD(U) and the AGP.

Maintaining that the matter was an issue of national security, Hassan said a union minister reportedly gave Rs 1.2 lakh to an arms dealer from Bangladesh through his partymen.

“This way, the minister and his colleagues are trying to destabilise the law and order situation in West Bengal,” he alleged quoting a newspaper report, which said the minister from the state gave money to buy illegal arms.
Unless the government discloses the name of the minister, the “needle of suspicion” would point at the entire council of ministers, who swear their allegiance to the Constitution, Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley said.

The entire Opposition urged P J Kurien, who was in the Chair, to direct the government to respond. However, when Kurien said it was up to the government to decide whether to respond, the members remained on their feet for about half an hour forcing adjournment of the House for 10 minutes.

When the House met again, pandemonium continued and the House had to be adjourned again for 15 minutes ahead of the scheduled lunch break.
The response by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Prithviraj Chavan that the government takes all issues raised during the Zero Hour seriously, triggered another bout of protest from the members.
“The government should come clear whether the news item was a story or a reality. If it is a reality, the name should be revealed, otherwise the guessing game will go on. Right from the Prime Minister, everybody comes under a question mark,” BJP leader S S Ahluwalia said.

CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said his party would move a substantive motion naming the minister.

Alleging that his partymen are being killed in West Bengal, Hassan said the arms procured through Bangladesh route were used by the Maoists and also in a robbery in Howrah. He demanded that the contents of the conversation between the minister and the arms dealer be tapped and the government should conduct a full inquiry.

Taking strong exception to Chavan’s remarks, CPM leader Brinda Karat said a serious issue of national security is being “trivialised”.
BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu said the government can say it will examine the issue and come back to the House on Tuesday. However, the government did not oblige him.
DH News Service

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