‘Whether India will designate Hamas as terror…’, Meenakashi Lekhi denies signing reply to Parliament question
Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakashi Lekhi did not give a direct reply when asked whether India will designate Hamas as a terrorist outfit, as sought by Israel.
Union Minister Meenakashi Lekhi on Friday refused to sign a reply to a Parliament question on ‘whether India plans to declare Hamas a terror group’. She said the designation of an organization as terrorist is covered under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and declaring any organization as terrorist is considered as per the provisions of the Act by the relevant government departments.
ANI has quoted sources saying that a technical correction is being done on the name of the minister. “There was a procedural issue," sources said.
MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, "We have noted that Lok Sabha Unstarred Question No. 980 answered on 8 December 2023 needs a technical correction in terms of reflecting V. Muraleedharan as the Minister of State replying to the Parliament Question. This is being suitably undertaken."
India on Friday said it remains concerned over the deteriorating security situation arising out of the Hamas-Israel conflict and called for "restraint and de-escalation" while emphasizing a peaceful resolution of the conflict through "dialogue and diplomacy".
Following this, Uddhav Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi sought clarification from the Minister of External Affairs on the matter.
“In the tweet below Meenakshi Lekhi ji is denying and disassociating to a response attributed to her, says has no idea who drafted this as a response to a PQ since she didn’t sign it," she wrote on X.
“Is she then claiming it is a forged response, if yes this is a serious breach and violation of the rules that prevail. Would be grateful for a clarification from MEA," she added.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar informed the Lok Sabha that India strongly condemned the October 7 terror attack on Israel and also the loss of civilian lives in the ongoing conflict.
“We remain concerned at the deteriorating security situation and have called for restraint, de-escalation and emphasized peaceful resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy," he said in a written reply to a question.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jaishankar have spoken to several leaders in the region and across the world, including the president and prime minister of Israel and the Palestinian president.
(With inputs from agencies)
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