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IndiaKashmir dominates Parliament on the first day of Monsoon Session

Kashmir dominates Parliament on the first day of Monsoon Session

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The much awaited MONSOON session of the Parliament began on Monday with the BJP government expecting the passage of the GST bill to pave through.

The Lok Sabha session started with Speaker Sumitra Mahajan paying tribute to Dalpat Singh Paraste, Lok Sabha MP Shahdol in Madhya Pradesh who passed away on 1 June.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced the new ministers of his cabinet to the members of Parliament, as per the custom.
However, soon after Modi's address, the Lok Sabha was adjourned till Tuesday to pay tribute to Paraste.

After the adjournment, Modi moved to the Upper House to oversee the oath-taking ceremony of new Rajya Sabha members, including senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, Union minister Piyush Goyal and NCP leader Praful Patel, who was cheered by members of the House.

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad gave a notice in the Rajya Sabha to discuss the violence in .

In view of the ongoing unrest in the volatile state of and Kashmir, the matter was discussed extensively in the House with Azad leading the discussion.

Opposition Parties accused the government of mismanaging Kashmir issue

Azad began the discussion on the Kashmir issue by questioning the use of excessive force in the state. “The attitude of the central government should be that of a parent when it comes to Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

The Congress leader further said that the problem in Kashmir has multiple aspects. The internal situation of Kashmir, role of central and state government and external forces, especially Pakistan, have influenced the prevailing situation, he said.

He further talked about the incompetence of the BJP while working for the development of the state. “What the Congress had done to end militancy, no one can ever do even in 50 years,” Azad added.

He further asked the government to distinguish between the common people and the militants, adding that both cannot be treated in the same way.

Before ending his speech, Azad expressed his party's support to end militancy but made it amply clear that he does not approve of the way civilians are treated in Kashmir.

While blaming Pakistan for the rapidly deteriorating situation in the state, he sent out a strong message for them : “People who stay in homes made of glass should not throw stones at others. We are capable and we beg you (Pakistan) to leave us alone with our problems.”

Naresh Agarwal of SP also attacked Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over his comments after violence in Kashmir. Sharif had declared that they will observe Black Day on 19 July and called Burhan Wani a “soldier”.

Agarwal reiterated Azad's view that the people of Kashmir have no trust in the central government.

Derek o'Brien of TMC accused the union government of “mishandling” the Kashmir situation. He also urged the government to comprehend and effectively use the power of the digital media.

Sharad Yadav of the JD(U) also lashed out at the Modi government, saying, “Even your government admits that the people injured in this conflict are common people of .”

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said that the government could not use Pakistan as an excuse for all their problems. He said that the power of diplomacy was available to the government to deal with Pakistan. “I will not accept that this problem is just one created by Pakistan or separatists,” he said.

Yechury further appealed to the government to convene an all-party meeting on the Kashmir issue.

Satish Chandra Misra of BSP urged the people of Kashmir to assist the government and maintain calm.

Newly elected member NCP leader Praful Patel said, “I won't blame any government but let's unite as a country and work to restore peace in the Kashmir Valley.” He also said that the very existence of the Pakistan army is to keep the fight between India and Pakistan going.

Azad addressed the House again to bring up the issue of lack of essential commodities to the people of Kashmir. Essential commodities, like LPG and medicines, are still not available in Kashmir, he said.

Government responds by blaming Pakistan

Arun Jaitley spoke on behalf of the central government. “We agree with the Congress that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is very serious. The situation was more than normal till now. It was a bumper tourist season and that sends out a message to the whole world. The state's is healthier because of that. We had even expected that pilgrims will be more for Amarnath yatra. But thinking that PDP-BJP government is behind the Kashmir unrest is a political thought. I am not going to stand here and recall Congress' history with Kashmir,” he said.

He added that Pakistan has never accepted Kashmir as part of India, which has led to three conventional wars.

Rajnath Singh too addressed the House to respond to the allegations of the Opposition parties. He defended Modi and said that the entire government is worried about the escalating tension in Kashmir.

According to a report that Singh cited, 1948 civilians have been injured up till now and 1671 security personnel. He said that Wani worked with Pakistan to wage jihad in India and the situation in Kashmir is sponsored by Pakistan.

Singh assured Azad that the Centre will try its best to make essential commodities available to the people of Kashmir.

Apart from the unrest in Kashmir, which dominated the House proceeding on the first day of the monsoon session, atrocities on Dalits, GST and the clean Ganga mission was also discussed.

BSP chief Mayawati raised the issue of recent incident in which some members of the dalit community, engaged in skinning dead animals, were beaten up in Gujarat in the Question Hour.

Congress leader P Chidambaram said that Azad and Anand Sharma have held talks with Jaitley, who has promised to come back with concrete proposals. Congress will respond after looking at the draft, he added.

Questions were raised about the steps taken by the government to clean river Ganga. Water Resources minister Uma Bharti responded by saying that industries have been warned not even to release the treated water In the “holy river”.

After an eventful day and substantial discussion on important issues, the Rajya Sabha was also adjourned.

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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