New Delhi: The publication of a map in RSS mouthpiece 'Organiser' depicting a part of Jammu and Kashmir as part of Pakistan, on Friday evoked consternation in Rajya Sabha, with the Opposition asking whether the government approved of it. An embarrassed government promised to investigate the matter saying this was not its stand and neither of the Sangh.
The matter was raised by Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad when the House met for the day, saying a map published in the 'Organiser' depicted Pak-occupied Kashmir (PoK) as part of Pakistan.
"Jammu and Kashmir is the crown of India and numerous sacifices have been made to maintain it as the crown," he said. Observing that the BJP and RSS have been in the forefront of protests whenever a foreign magazine showed PoK as part of Pakistan, Azad wanted to know from the government if it approved of the 'Organiser' map.
Responding on behalf of the government, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India and "we will investigate" the article in 'Organiser'. This is "not the view of the Sangh, neither the BJP's and nor that of the government," Prasad said.
Despite the Minister's reply, Congress members continued to press the issue, with S Chaturvedi wanting to know what action the government proposes to take against the author. Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien said the Minister has made a categorical statement that Jammu and Kashmir is part of India and nobody can change it.
Some Congress members also tried to raise the issue of 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi being granted bail by a court in Pakistan. Pramod Tiwari (Cong) said it was a failure of India's foreign policy, even as Kurien asked members to give proper notice for raising the issue.
Rajeev Shukla (Cong) said though Zero Hour notices are to be given by 10 hours, but since Lakhvi was released around that time, no prior notice could be given for raising the issue in the House.
Kurien said the members can raise the issue on the next working day. He also disallowed a notice for suspension of business by KN Balagopal (CPI-M) to raise the issue of ruckus during Budget presentation in the Kerala assembly.
"Your suspension notice is ruled out. You cannot discuss working of an assembly, whether Kerala or any other, in this House," he said, asking CPI(M) members to ask their party colleagues in the state to raise it in the assembly.