Sun, Feb 26, 2017 | updated 10:15 PM IST

It is for govt to decide whom to disclose classified information: Subramanian Swamy

Updated: Oct 13, 2016 23:52 IST

New Delhi [India], Oct. 13 (ANI): Speaking on the allegations by the Congress party on the changes in the agenda of the Defence Committee Meeting, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, who is a member of the Standing Committee of Defence, on Thursday said the final decision rests with the government as to whom it wants to confide classified information.

A controversy broke out over the last minute cancellation of a planned briefing on surgical strikes at a meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Defence on Friday with two senior Congress members dubbing it "highly unacceptable" and pitching for bringing back the original agenda.

"Tomorrow the meeting is at 10:30. But, Members of Parliament do not take oath of secrecy, only Cabinet Ministers take. And in the Cabinet Ministry, some of them are selected to be in the Cabinet Committee of Political affairs, which is the only one that gets intelligence briefing. The overall Cabinet does not get intelligence briefing," Swamy said.

"The Defence Committee is certainly entitled to know about these strikes. In fact, we have briefed the Opposition parties, but they are not satisfied and there is no reason why the Congress members have not been satisfied," he added.

Speaking to ANI over the controversy, Swamy said, "More importantly, six members of Parliament have not administered the Oath of Secrecy. It is for the government to decide what secrets they can confide in, and certainly once it comes before the Parliamentary Committee, questions will be asked and if that time the officers don't answer the questions on the ground that it is a secret, it will be more offensive."

"I am sure sometime in the future we will get to know the details of the operations. But, finally it is the government's prerogative to decide what are the secrets that can be shared and what are the secrets that cannot be shared for a committee of members who have not been administered the Oath of Secrecy," he concluded.

Congress general secretaries Ambika Soni and Madhusudan Mistry said in a joint statement that the decision not to brief the committee over surgical strikes under the garb of secrecy only amounts to 'lack of confidence' in the Members of Parliament, who are in the committee and who are bound by the Oath of Secrecy and that such a position is absolutely unacceptable to them. (ANI)

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