Akali Dal MP wants MEA to withdraw its statement

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Akali Dal MP wants MEA to withdraw its statement

New Delhi, Apr 10 (PTI) Ruling NDA ally Akali Dal today asked the External Affairs Ministry to withdraw its statement rejecting a motion adopted by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in Canada terming the 1984 riots as a “genocide”.

The issue was raised by SAD member Naresh Gujral during the Zero Hour in the Rajya Sabha.

“There was a state-condoned massacre of innocent Sikhs that went on for three horrible days and nights. The government and police refused to intervene and the minority community was targetted only because of their identity, their beard, their turban and their names,” he said.

Congress member Anand Sharma objected to the statment.

Gujral further said the November 1984 occurings were not a riot as “successive Congress governments have tried to make us believe”. In fact, many Hindus and Muslims had risked their lives to save their Sikh friends.

Raising the Ontario issue, the SAD member said the MEA should withdraw its statement issued after passage of the motion. “I demand that the statement by the MEA be withdrawn and the External Affairs Minister make a statement in the House,” he said.

Raising a point of order, Sharma said “this is Parliament of India. Can you allow a statement that there was a state-sponsored genocide on record”.

To this, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said he would go into the records and “expunge what is to be expunged”.

Last week, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay had said that India’s views were conveyed to the government and the political leadership in Canada.

“We have noted the passage of a Private Member’s Motion in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario on April 6. We reject this misguided Motion which is based on a limited understanding of India, its Constitution, society, ethos, rule of law and the judicial process,” Baglay had said.

Raising another issue, Narendra Budania (Cong) expressed concern over an Indian defense personnel, who had raised the issue of quality of food served to the forces, being shown as dead in social media in Pakistan and other foreign countries.

“This is a serious issue. Our country is being defamed,” he said.

Tapan Kumar Sen (CPI-M) said a strike call has been given for tomorrow by all major trade unions to protest against the “dangerous game of putting the whole national manufacturing capability…to the process of privatisation”.

He said the employees of the Alloy Steel Plant in Durgapur, Salem Steel Plant and a steel plant in Karnataka will be joining the strike against the privatisation.

“These (are) special steel plants which have no parallel in the private sector in the country and even they are being sought to be privatised,” Sen said.

He said the privatisation move was nothing but “a design of destroying the manufacturing capabilities of the country under the camouflage of the so-called ‘Make in India’ slogan”.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.