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Union Minister Meenakashi Lekhi denies answering question on Hamas in Parliament, calls for probe

A user flagged it to the Minister that the information was shared on the website of the Sansad, which was later circulated, to which Meenakashi Lekhi said that an inquiry into the incident would "reveal the culprit".

Ashesh Mallick Edited By: Ashesh Mallick @asheshmallick07 New Delhi Updated on: December 09, 2023 23:50 IST
MoS MEA Meenakashi Lekhi, Parliament, Lok Sabha
Image Source : PTI MoS MEA Meenakashi Lekhi

Union Minister Meenakashi Lekhi has denied signing a reply document to a Parliament question asking if India plans to declare Hamas a terror organisation and whether Israel has raised any demand to India to declare Hamas as a terrorist outfit, and said that the inquiry would reveal the “culprit”. This comes after a user shared the document, which was posted on the website of the Sansad, that mentioned her name.

“You have been misinformed as I have not signed any paper with this question and this answer @DrSJaishankar @PMOIndia” Lekhi posted on X.

Another user commented and mentioned that the document was uploaded on the website of the Sansad. Lekhi responded to the post and said, “Inquiry will reveal the culprit @DrSJaishankar @PMOIndia”

What Meenakashi Lekhi and Arindam Bagchi said on the matter? 

Union Minister Meenakashi Lekhi said, "I want to tell everyone that I have not signed any such paper related to that question. I have reported this breach to PMO and S Jaishankar and made a phone call to the Foreign Secretary and told them to investigate and actions should be taken against those who have done this".

MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, "We have noted that Lok Sabha Unstarred Question No. 980 answered on 8 December 2023 needs a technical correction in terms of reflecting V Muraleedharan as the Minister of State replying to the Parliament Question. This is being suitably undertaken."

Priyanka Chaturvedi seeks clarification

Shiv Sena UBT MP Priyanka Chaturvedi sought clarification from the Ministry of External Affairs alleging the matter a "serious breach of the rules".

"Is she then claiming it is a forged response, if yes this is a serious breach and violation of the rules that prevail. Would be grateful for a clarification from @MEAIndia," she posted on X.


Jaishankar in Parliament

India on Friday said it remains concerned over the deteriorating security situation arising out of the Hamas-Israel conflict and called for "restraint and de-escalation" while emphasising on a peaceful resolution of the conflict through "dialogue and diplomacy".

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar informed the Lok Sabha that India strongly condemned the October 7 terror attack on Israel and also the loss of civilian lives in the ongoing conflict.

"We remain concerned at the deteriorating security situation and have called for restraint, de-escalation and emphasised peaceful resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy," he said in a written reply to a question.

"We welcome the humanitarian pauses and the release of hostages," he added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jaishankar have spoken to several leaders in the region and across the world, including the president and prime minister of Israel and the Palestinian president.

"India has also strongly taken up the ongoing situation in Gaza at multilateral fora such as G20, BRICS and Voice of Global South Summit and reiterated its stance," Jaishankar said.

He said 1,309 Indian nationals have returned to the country in six special flights operated under "Operation Ajay" from Israel and that New Delhi has also facilitated the return of one Indian national from the Gaza Strip.

To a separate question on India's abstention on a resolution on the conflict at the United Nations, the external affairs minister said New Delhi's policy towards Palestine has been long standing.

"We have always supported a negotiated two-State solution, towards establishment of a sovereign, independent and viable State of Palestine within secure and recognised borders, living side by side in peace with Israel," he said.

(With PTI inputs)


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