Two Congress MPs flay agenda change for parliamentary panel meeting

New Delhi, Oct 13 (IANS) Two Congress MPs on Thursday said the last-minute change of agenda for the coming meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence, including the September 29 surgical strikes across the Line of Control, is “highly unacceptable”.

The Congress leaders demanded that the original agenda be followed for the October 14 meeting.

“The last-minute change of agenda is highly unacceptable. We are deeply disappointed over the change in agenda,” Congress MPs Ambika Soni and Madhusudan Mistry, who are members of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Defence, said in a statement here.

“The original agenda was that the army officials would brief the committee members on the recent surgical strikes and subsequently deliberate on the shortage of arms and ammunition for the defence forces. This has now been changed,” it added.

The Congress demanded that the original agenda be maintained and also that the defence officials inform the committee about the number of surgical strikes carried out since 2004.

“We believe that the agenda must have been fixed after consultation with top officials of the Defence Ministry.

“We see no reason why this has to be changed, and that too at the last minute. This is not the first time that the agenda of such meetings is being changed. It has happened before also,” read the statement.

The decision not to brief the committee over the surgical strikes under the garb of secrecy only amounts to “lack of confidence” in MPs who are on the parliamentary committee and who are bound by the oath of secrecy. This position is absolutely unacceptable to us, the Congress leaders added.

The statement said: “It is also unfortunate that we come to know about the shortage of arms and ammunition for the special forces, who carried out the surgical strikes. But the army officials are not ready to discuss or answer queries to be raised in the meeting.”



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