Three opposition members — two from the Congress and one from the BSP — of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on defence Friday walked out of a gathering of the panel over the chairman’s refusal to debate the Agnipath scheme for recruiting troopers throughout the three armed companies. The panel is headed by BJP’s Jual Oram.
The agenda of the assembly was consideration and adoption of the Draft Report on the Action Taken by the Government on the observations and suggestions contained within the panel’s report on calls for for grants of the Ministry of Defence for 2021-22 on Ordnance Factories, DRDO, Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) and NCC.
Besides, the assembly was to chalk out the longer term programme of the Committee.
The move by Congress’s Okay C Venugopal and Uttam Kumar Reddy and BSP’s Danish Ali comes at a time when the Opposition events are engaged in a confrontation with the federal government in Parliament over their demand for a dialogue on the rise in costs and the hike in GST charges of important commodities.
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Senior Congress chief Rahul Gandhi too is a member of the panel however he was not current. As quickly because the assembly started, Ali was learnt to have demanded a dialogue on the Agnipath scheme stating that there was large anger among the many youth over it and the violent protests by them had seen 1000’s of crores value of public property being broken.
He is learnt to have stated that the scheme has large monetary implications and the first duty of the standing committee is to peruse the calls for for grants of the Ministry. Oram countered, saying the difficulty was not on the agenda.
Ali identified that the scheme was introduced final month and argued how the committee might have included it within the agenda at first of the 12 months. Oram stated the difficulty might be mentioned in Parliament. With the Chairman unrelenting, the members walked out.
Venugopal stated they walked out of the assembly in protest over the Chairman not taking on the “controversial” Agnipath scheme for dialogue “despite our repeated requests.” He stated he had written to the Chairman earlier demanding that the panel talk about the difficulty.
“We urged the Chairman to clarify. Why was the Parliament Standing Committee on Defence kept in the dark on the Agnipath recruitment scheme? Why was the scheme not taken up in the committee’s budget scrutiny meetings despite involving financial implications? The Chairman turned a deaf ear to these crucial questions and the scheme was not discussed,” he stated.
Attacking the federal government, he stated it’s neither permitting discussions in Parliament nor deliberations within the Parliament Standing Committees and is bent upon “bulldozing legislations” in Parliament.
This is just not the primary time Congress members have walked out of the defence panel. In December 2020, Rahul Gandhi and different members of his celebration walked out alleging that the panel’s time was being wasted in discussing armed forces’ uniform as a substitute of essential problems with nationwide safety just like the Chinese aggression and higher equipping the troopers on the border in Ladakh.