‘Oram told Rahul to be brief at House panel on defence meet’

Chairman of the Parliamentary panel on Defence Jual Oram reportedly asked Lok Sabha member and former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi to be brief while asking questions during a meeting of the panel on Thursday.

The Parliamentary panel, of which Mr. Gandhi is a member, has been discussing Demand for Grants for the Defence Ministry since Wednesday and will complete its deliberations on Friday.

The panel is believed to have discussed sensitive issues, including the face off with China on the Eastern Ladakh border.

Sources said when Mr. Gandhi was asking questions regarding expenditure on officers and soldiers, Mr. Oram asked him to be brief. Congress member, Rajeev Satav, then asked the Chairperson to allow his leader to complete his question.

Bahujan Samaj Party member, Danish Ali, also intervened and requested the Head of the Parliamentary panel “to allow a senior member his right to pose question.”

Mr. Gandhi, after he walked out of a meeting of the defence panel in protest in December last year, had written to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.

On December 16, 2020, when the defence panel was pre-scheduled to discuss the subject of “military uniform”, Mr. Gandhi wanted to discuss the military situation. However, Mr. Oram did not allow the Congress leader to “deviate” from the pre-fixed agenda. In protest, Mr. Gandhi not only walked out, he followed it up with a letter to the Speaker the next day in which he expressed his “dismay”.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party members, however, had accused Mr. Gandhi of “showing disrespect to a Parliamentary institution by walking out”.

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