Jual Oram, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence (File Photo)
Jual Oram, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence (File Photo)

Parliamentary Defence panel Chairman meets Speaker, refutes allegations levelled by Rahul Gandhi

By Pragya Kaushika | Updated: Dec 18, 2020 12:06 IST

New Delhi [India], December 18 (ANI): The day Congress leader Rahul Gandhi wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla seeking protection of rights of MPs to freedom of speech in a parliamentary panel meeting, Chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on Defence, Jual Oram, reportedly met the Speaker to apprise him on the issue. He also refuted allegations of muzzling opposition's voice in the meetings of the committee, levelled by the Congress leader.
Highly placed sources informed ANI that Jual Oram, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence met the Speaker on Thursday and apprised him on the events that led to the Rahul Gandhi walking out of the meeting.
Sources also said that the Congress MP entered the meeting of the panel late and started objecting to the agenda being discussed.
Sources also informed that the Wayanad MP was absent from the meeting scheduled to finalise agenda for this meet.
"Many members asked the Chairman of the panel to organise a presentation to understand the hierarchy in the army. It is embarrassing if a senior officer is called by the wrong designation. Everyone in the committee agreed to it and that is what was discussed in the meeting when the Rahul Gandhi came and started asking about details about action on the LAC," stated the source.
The committee was discussing "an introduction to the rank, structure of the defence forces including their uniforms, stars and badges and review of working of cantonment board". Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat too was present at the meeting.
The Congress leader, according to sources, objected to wasting the time of CDS by making him stay for presentation on uniforms of the defence.
"One senior member did object to this observation of the Wayanad MP as CDS General Rawat is Secretary of the Department of Military Affairs as well. Chairman politely asked the Congress MP to speak on the agenda set for the day but he walked out of the meeting," stated the source.
The source also blamed the Congress MP for not being present in the meetings and then wanting to set the agenda. "Members went to forward locations including one on LAC, Rahul Gandhi didn't accompany them. If he was so concerned about the situation on the LAC, he should have gone and made notes and contributed to making the situation better," stated the source.
The Congress leader had walked out of the House panel meet by alleging he wasn't allowed to speak. Prakash Javadekar, Union minister had slammed the former Congress chief for his behaviour and questioned why he attended only two meetings of the panel till now. (ANI)