"We do not want to stall Parliament", says Cong, threatens to raise contentious issues

We do not want to stall Parliament, says Cong, threatens to raise contentious issues

New Delhi: The Congress party today said it is not in favour of stalling proceedings of Parliament but are often compelled to do so when the "genuine demands" are not entertained by the ruling dispensation. Making its intent clear that there was hardly any room for kid-gloves treatment on behalf of the opposition towards the government, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad sought to give a firm message: "If the government thinks that elimination and guns are the only ways to curb tension in Kashmir, we are not with them". Talking to reporters after an all-party meeting on the eve of beginning of the monsoon session, Mr Azad said, "We will raise issues of increasing incidents of crime against women, flood condition in Assam and Darjeeling unrest". The Congress and other parties would also raise the alleged mob lynching and the agrarian crisis. Congress sources said the opposition also did not agree with the government's policies on Jammu and Kashmir and thus it will seek a debate in Parliament on the issue. The leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha said that earlier "Pakistan would figure in discussions on Kashmir, but now China will be also mentioned". The reference was to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's recent remarks that China was interfering in the affairs of her state. The Congress party has also conveyed to the government that there are some sensitive issues related to the internal and external security that needed to be discussed during the Parliament session. The remarks came after two rounds of meeting Home Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held with the opposition parties - on July 15 and July 14 - and briefed them about the government's views on the standoff with China and also on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. Earlier in the day, another senior Congress leader P Chidambaram also flayed the Centre for its Jammu and Kashmir policy and said "the Central government has taken a maximalist position that has (only) aggravated the problem". On Friday, emerging out of the meeting with Sushma Swaraj and Rajnath Singh, the Congress leader Anand Sharma, has said that the opposition parties will raise both the Kashmir issue and the border tension in Parliament as "Parliament is the highest forum" to talk on all issues concerning the citizens and the country.

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