Opposition members today walked out of Lok Sabha as their demand for an obituary reference on the soldiers who died in the terror attack on army camp in Jammu was rejected by the Speaker on the grounds that final details were yet to emerge. The House was adjourned for nearly 40 minutes till noon after the Opposition created a din over its demand for an adjournment motion on the demonetisation issue. As soon as the House met for the day, Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge raised the issue.
Speaker Sumitra Mahajan initially thought he was raising the issue of allowing the Opposition to bring an adjournment motion on demonetisation. When Kharge clarified that he wanted an obituary reference in the memory of the soldiers killed, she said she had no problems in bringing the reference but the details were still pouring in as combing operations were still on. “I know seven soldiers have been killed…let the complete report come,” she said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present in the House as it was the day when questions for the Prime Minister’s Office are slated to be raised.
But as Kharge was persistent, Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said issues of national security should not be brought into controversy. Most opposition members, including those from Congress, TMC, Left, RJD then staged a walkout. “It is sad that you raised the issue like this,” Mahajan said.
As the House took up the first question for the day during Question Hour, the Opposition members returned and rushed to the Well demanding adjournment motion on demonetisation issue. The Speaker then adjourned the proceedings till noon.
Later, Kharge and TMC leader Sudip Bandopadhyay expressed regret over the development but blamed the government for its inputs to the Speaker on the matter, a contention Mahajan rejected saying the government had no role in it.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar attacked the Opposition over the matter, saying they should not do politics over martyrdom of soldiers, drawing protests from the Opposition benches.