Congress walks out of defence panel meet

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 16

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and his colleagues today walked out of a meeting of the parliamentary standing committee on defence alleging the panel was discussing rank structure of the armed forces, their uniform and badges when the nation was confronted with security challenges along the LAC.

Gandhi and Congress MPs Rajeev Satav and Revanth Reddy left the meeting midway after an Army officer made a detailed presentation on the rank structure, including uniform, stars and badges, to the committee members.

“Why is time being wasted on all this?” Gandhi said, with committee chairperson Jual Oram asking him to first listen as to why the presentation was necessary.

Gandhi, however, insisted on “stopping the waste of time” and instead discuss how to equip soldiers better to take on the Chinese at the LAC.

He walked out after he reportedly was not allowed to raise the said matter.

“Politicians should have no business to tell the armed forces which uniform to wear. This is their jurisdiction. We should not insult them. Political leadership should provide heated tents, better equipment and logistics to the soldiers who are braving this winter at the border and facing the Chinese in Ladakh,” Gandhi said in the presence of Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat.

BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP from Haryana Lt Gen (retd) DP Vats countered Gandhi over “the presentation being a waste of time”. “It becomes very embarrassing sometimes when a Lieutenant General is addressed as a Lieutenant,” he said.

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