Oppn seeks PM's word on Trump's Kashmir claim

Oppn seeks PM's word on Trump's Kashmir claim

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. File photo

The Congress and other Opposition parties on Wednesday kept up the heat over US President Donald Trump's claim on Kashmir mediation and created ruckus in the Lok Sabha, demanding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should come to the House and make a statement to clear the air.

After agitating on the floor of the House for more than an hour since it assembled for the day in morning, the Opposition staged a walk out from the Lok Sabha in protest as the government fielded Defence Minister and Deputy Leader of the House Rajnath Singh to clarify on the issue.

A massive political firestorm broke out on Tuesday after the US president made a stunning claim that Modi had asked him to mediate between India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir dispute during their meeting in Osaka for the G-20 summit last month.

The row over the issue continued for the second consecutive day even as the government refuted Trump's claim, clarifying that no such request was made by Modi to the US president.

“We want to hear the facts from the horse's mouth. What is wrong in this demand. We want that the prime minister should come here and give a statement," Congress' Leader of the House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said in the Lok Sabha.

He said that Trump's claim on Kashmir mediation “might be false or true.”

“Why has prime minister maintained a stoic silence on this issue? He (Modi) is giving answers through his representatives He should come here and clear the doubts. He should have been here today as per traditions,” Chowdhury added.

DMK leader T R Baalu said it was “a strange situation” that Opposition parties have to “plead again and again” before the House to call the prime minister.

Amid the walk out of the members of the Congress and other Opposition parties, the defence minister clarified that there was no discussion on Kashmir in the meeting between Trump and Modi.

“External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has already clarified that there was no discussion on Kashmir issue. Now, I do not think there can be a more authentic statement than what Jaishankar has already made as he was present during the meeting between the US president and our prime minister,” he told the Lok Sabha.

Singh asserted that there was “no question” of “any mediation” on the issue of Kashmir.

“When India talks to Pakistan, it will not be limited to the issue of Kashmir but also include Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK),” he added.

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