New Delhi: Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi and other Congress MPs on Wednesday walked out of a meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence after its chairman Jual Oram of the BJP stopped him from raising the issue of Chinese aggression along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh.
Party leaders said Rahul wanted to discuss whether national security was in jeopardy with the Chinese forces occupying Indian territory in Ladakh. Since the standing committee meetings are held in camera, nobody is ready to speak on record, lest he is hauled up for breach of privilege. But, from all accounts, the confrontation took place during a discussion on the uniforms of the Army, Navy and Air Force in the presence of the Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat.
Rahul intervened to suggest that instead of discussing the modalities of the purchase of uniforms, the committee should figure out how to reinforce the forces in Ladakh.
He repeatedly asked General Rawat why advice should be sought from politicians about such mundane matters as military uniforms, since such decisions could be taken by the armed forces themselves.
When he and other Congress MPs pressed for a discussion on ways to better equip the Indian soldiers, Oram reportedly interrupted and stopped him from speaking, leading to the walkout by all members of the Congress.
Rahul was asked to desist by the chairman when he attacked the government for not being clear about the situation on the border, as was apparent from the conflicting statements that keep emanating from the government. He also accused Prime Minister Modi of being "scared" of China and not acknowledging that territory has been occupied by the Chinese forces.