Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and other parliamentarians of his party, including Rajeev Satav and Revanth Reddy, on Wednesday walked out of a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Defence, alleging that the panel's time was being wasted in discussing armed forces' uniform instead of the crucial issue of national security, sources said.
The former Congress president was barred from speaking at the meeting by panel chairman Jual Oram (BJP) when he sought to raise the issues of Chinese aggression and better equipping the soldiers at the border in Ladakh, they said.
Oram later told News18 that Gandhi was asking questions not listed in the agenda for the day. “If Rahul Gandhi or any other member of the committee asks a question or raises an issue which is not listed in the agenda for the day, then as a chairman I have a right to ask him or her to refrain from so. That is exactly what happened in the meeting today,” Oram said.
The sources said the issue of uniforms of the Army, Navy and Air Force was being discussed in the presence of the Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat when Gandhi intervened to say that instead of discussing this, the political leadership should discuss the issues of national security and how to strengthen the forces who are fighting the Chinese in Ladakh.
The committee chairman did not allow Gandhi to speak, following which the Congress leader decided to walk out, they said, adding Satav and Reddy also left the meeting along with their leader.
Earlier too, Gandhi had raised the issue of the plight of soldiers guarding the country’s borders amid biting cold. “The jawans of the country are fighting PLA soldiers in extreme weather conditions from normal tents. They are unafraid. But the Prime Minister of the country flies around in an aeroplane that costs Rs 8,400 crore and he is scared to even take the name of China. Who got achche din?” he has earlier written on Twitter.
(With inputs from PTI)