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PM Says Parliament Security Breach a “Serious Incident,” Requests Opposition Not to Squabble over It

PM Says Parliament Security Breach a “Serious Incident,” Requests Opposition Not to Squabble over It

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Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, Dec 17: Reacting for the first time on last week’s parliament security breach, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said the seriousness of the incident could not be underestimated and called for stopping all squabbles over the issue even as the Opposition stalled House proceedings demanding statement from the government.

In an interview to a Hindi daily, Mr Modi described the breach as “painful and a matter of concern” and said it was equally necessary to go to the roots of people behind it and their motives pointing out that the probe agencies were looking into the matter and taking stringent measures. “Efforts should also be made to look for a solution with collective spirit. Everyone should avoid squabbling over such an issue,” he said.

“The seriousness of this incident should not be downplayed. The (Lok Sabha) Speaker is taking all the necessary steps. Probe agencies are investigating the matter. It is important to find out which elements are behind this and what their objectives are. There is no need to debate this, there should be a detailed investigation into this,” he said. “The gravity of the incident which happened in Parliament should not be underestimated,” the Prime Minister said.

The government has insisted that the security in Parliament complex is the responsibility of the Lok Sabha Secretariat and it has been following the Speaker’s directives. It has also cited numerous such violations in the past, accusing the opposition of politicising the issue.

Mr Modi’s remarks underlining the gravity of the situation comes a day after the BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya accused the opposition of making the “small thing” of security breach in Parliament into a “big issue” by stalling the proceedings of the House and had claimed that the intention of the opposition behind creating the ruckus in the House over the “small thing” was to hide something sinister from the public view.

Shocking scenes played out in the Lok Sabha chamber on December 13 when two intruders jumped from desk to desk and deployed coloured smoke from canisters. Their co-accused staged a similar protest outside the Parliament. They have told investigators that their objective was to draw attention to Manipur violence, unemployment and farmers’ problems. A total of six people have been arrested in connection with a case so far and each of them have been remanded to police custody for seven days for questioning the accused. Delhi Police have invoked the stringent anti-terror law, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, against the trespassers.

The Opposition has criticised the government over the huge security breach and demanded a statement by Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, however, has said the security inside Lok Sabha was under the secretariat’s purview and that it would not let the Centre intervene. “The government cannot intervene in (responsibilities of) Lok Sabha secretariat. We will not allow that either,” he said, responding to Opposition MPs’ slogans.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said the security breach was a serious issue. “We are asking for the Home Minister’s statement in Parliament, but the Home Minister is not saying anything, neither is he giving a statement. He is speaking in TV shows, but not inside Parliament. This is not good for democracy,” he told reporters.

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi said those who breached Parliament’s security were youngsters who are jobless due to the Narendra Modi government’s policies. “The biggest issue in the country is that of unemployment, which is boiling all over the country. The country’s youth are not getting employment due to the policies of Modi ji,” he had said.

The BJP hit back, saying Mr Gandhi “always talks trash” and claiming that unemployment was actually at its lowest in the last six years. “Instead, Rahul Gandhi and I.N.D.I Alliance leaders must explain the close linkages of those involved in the Parliament breach with Congress, TMC, and CPI(M),” BJP IT in-charge Amit Malviya said in a post on X.

 

 

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