New Delhi: Minister of State for External
Affairs E Ahammed was on Thursday prevented from replying to a
debate in Lok Sabha on Tamils in Sri Lanka with members saying
that only the Cabinet Minister concerned should do so.
TR Baalu (DMK) who raised the discussion in the lower
House objected when the Ahammed started replying on the issue
and said, "The concerned minister (S M Krishna) should reply."
Pacifying Baalu and other members from Tamil Nadu who also
objected to reply by a junior minister, Minister of State in
PMO V Narayanasamy said, "Since the minister is replying in
Rajya Sabha, he is not replying in this House."
But the DMK and AIADMK members did not agree to the
submission by the minister. "We are not concerned with that.
We will wait for his (Krishna`s) reply," Baalu said.
Rising in support of Baalu, M Thambidurai (AIADMK) said,
"This is an international issue and a deputy minister cannot
reply in the House. The Cabinet Minister (Krishna) should
Inder Singh Namdhari who was in Chair, said, "As per
rules, a cabinet minister or deputy minister or Parliamentary
Affairs Minister is competent to reply to such discussions."
But members from Tamil Nadu did not buy the argument and
insisted on reply from the External Affairs Minister.
Namdhari observed, "Since the minister (Krishna) is
replying in other House, he will reply to the debate here
Ahammed, however, said he was competent to reply, but if
members did not want to listen to him, he would not speak.
Those who participated in the debate included Adhir Ranjan
Chowdhury (Cong), Nripendra Nath Roy (AIFB), Tarun Mandal
(IND) and Prasanta Kumar Majumdar (RSP).