The Congress today gave a notice to move a privilege motion in the Rajya Sabha against External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj alleging that she misled the House on August 3 while replying to a debate on India's foreign policy and engagement with strategic partners.
Congress members Ambika Soni, Vivek Tankha, Pratap Bajwa, Rajen Gohain, Rajeev Gowda and others alleged that in her reply to a short-duration discussion, Swaraj denied that any speech or statement was made by any representative of the government at 60th anniversary of Bandung conference.
She also informed the House that none of the members of the Indian delegation was given an opportunity to deliver a speech on the occasion, which the Congress members are objecting to dubbing it as "false".
"We hereby give notice of our intention to move a privilege motion under Rule 188 of the Rules and Procedures and Conduct of Business on false and misleading statement given by Sushma Swaraj, Minister for External Affairs on August 3, 2017 during reply to Short Duration Discussion on 'India's Foreign Policy and Engagement with Strategic Partners'," the notice said.
"We are shocked at the blatantly false and misleading statement given by the Minister for External Affairs on the floor of the House wherein the matter was discussed after giving due notice of short duration discussion which the minister was also very keen to discuss and reply to. It is also a matter of shame that during the reply, the minister said that Bangdung Conference is different from Asian African Conference whereas the fact is that Asian African Conference is popularly known as Bangdung Conference," the privilege motion filed before RS Secretary General said.
During the debate yesterday, Anand Sharma pointed out to Swaraj in the House that Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh had given a speech in Bangdung on the 60th anniversary but she completely denied that.
TMC MP Derek O'Brien then stated that speeches were made by the minister of external affairs and the MoS on the occasion but she again denied stating that the speeches were delivered at some other conference a day before but not at the 60th anniversary event.
Swaraj's speech at 60th Asian African Conference (also known as Bangdung Conference) is available on the Ministry of External Affairs website and the Congress has attached the same in its notice.