Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed was today prevented from replying to a debate in Lok Sabha on Tamils in Sri Lanka with members saying that only the Cabinet Minister concerned should do so.
T R Baalu (DMK) who raised the discussion in the lower House objected when the Ahamed started replying on the issue and said, "the concerned minister (S M Krishna) should reply."
Pacifying Baalu and other members from Tamil Nadu who also objected to reply by a junior minister, Minister of State in PMO V Narayanasamy said, "since the minister is replying in Rajya Sabha, he is not replying in this House."
But the DMK and AIADMK members did not agree to the submission by the minister. "We are not concerned with that. We will wait for his (Krishna's) reply," Baalu said.
Rising in support of Baalu, M Thambidurai (AIADMK) said, "this is an international issue and a deputy minister cannot reply in the House. The Cabinet Minister (Krishna) should reply."
Inder Singh Namdhari who was in Chair, said, "as per rules, a cabinet minister or deputy minister or Parliamentary Affairs Minister is competent to reply to such discussions."
But members from Tamil Nadu did not buy the argument and insisted on reply from the External Affairs Minister.
Namdhari observed, "since the minister (Krishna) is replying in the other House, he will reply to the debate here tomorrow."
Ahamed, however, said he was competent to reply, but if members did not want to listen to him, he would not speak.
Those who participated in the debate included Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (Cong), Nripendra Nath Roy (AIFB), Tarun Mandal (IND) and Prasanta Kumar Majumdar (RSP).
Ahamed Prevented From Replying on SL Tamils in LS
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