New Delhi: Congress MP Manish Tewari has claimed that the Lok Sabha had disallowed 17 of his questions on Chinese incursions in India and the government’s handling of the same since 2020.
On a day when the Opposition was up in arms in Parliament over the hasty introduction and passing of the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, Tewari, in a tweet posted Monday, said that all the questions he has posed since 2020 on the Sino-India border situation, were disallowed on “specious grounds of national security”.
Earlier in the day, Tewari had also opposed the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill which sought to introduce a (voluntary) linkage between a person’s Aadhar card and their voter ID. The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha within 20 minutes of it being introduced by the government.
Soon after the election laws bill was passed, Tewari took to Twitter to post a snapshot of 17 questions that he had put forth in Lok Sabha on the Sino-India situation since September 2020.
“Snapshot of 17 questions on Sino-Indian border situation disallowed by Lok Sabha Secretariat on specious grounds of national security. There are many more. Not one substantive discussion on China since April 2020. Are we a democracy any longer? (sic),” read Tewari’s post, in which Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla as well as vice-president and chairman of Rajya Sabha M. Venkaiah Naidu were tagged.
Snap Shot of 17 questions on Sino- Indian Border Situation disallowed by Lok Sabha Secritariat on specious grounds of National Security. There are many more.
Not one substantive discussion on China since April 2020.
— Manish Tewari (@ManishTewari) December 20, 2021
Tewari’s last question is dated 3 December.
ThePrint has reached the Lok Sabha secretariat via email and phone calls for a response to Tewari’s claims. However, no response was received till the time of publishing this report.
‘Parliamentary institutions being hollowed out’
The questions were based on various aspects of the Sino-Indian border conflict, ranging from “Indian territory occupied by China”, to “armed conflict at the border”, to “China constructing a nuclear arsenal” etc.
“It is shameful that Parliament is being reduced to a mere debating society. Whatever is critical for national interest and should be discussed in the supreme legislative institution is just not being permitted. Rules are being misused to block questions, block discussions,” Tewari told ThePrint.
“It’s unfortunate that for the past 20 months, Parliament has not once discussed the situation on the borders with China,” he added.
He further said that important bills and discussions are “being railroaded” and “not even being referred to joint or standing committees”.
“In a sense, Parliamentary institutions are being hollowed out,” he added.
(Edited by Gitanjali Das)