New Delhi: The attack in Gurdaspur resonated in Lok Sabha today with members cutting across party lines condemning it and saying that the incident demonstrated that the terror threat to India is “perceptible” and that all force should be used to fight the scourge.
Members of Akali Dal, BJP, CPI(M) and BJD spoke on this morning’s attack during the Zero Hour amidst the din created by members of Congress, NCP, Left, Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party, RJD, JD(U) and TRS over various issues.
Congress members, holding placards in the Well, were demanding ouster of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over various controversies.
Members from SP, RJD and JD(U) were demanding release of the census report, while TRS members were demanding a separate High Court for Telangana.
Prem Singh Chandumajra of Akali Dal, who hails from Punjab, raised the issue of the attack, in which four heavily armed terrorists went on a rampage this morning, targeting a bus and a police station complex, leaving a number of policemen and civilians dead and injured.
He urged the slogan-shouting opposition members to halt their protest in view of the attack as it is in the national interest.
“I appeal to you, in the national interest, halt your protest for two minutes as there has been an attack in Gurdaspur,” he told the Congress members who were in the Well shouting slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government.
“This is a question of the country’s security. People are dying… People of the state are watching. They are watching this drama (in the House),” the Akali member said. BJD member Tathagat Sathpathy said the incident in Gurdaspur was a “grave matter”, which shows that “once again terrorism is back with full force. It is not only display of ISIS flags, the threat of terrorism is perceptible here. The threat is right here in the country.”
He said all political parties should unite against the fight against terrorism. “We are not here to politicise…Strictest action should be taken. All force should be used. India should stand up to fight terrorism,” the BJD member from Odisha said. Mohd Saleem (CPI-M) said the “terror attack in Gurdaspur is condemnable”.
At the same time, he questioned the “resurgence” of terrorism while observing that “the kind of politics in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir” is responsible for it. BJP member S.S. Ahluwalia wanted the House to pass a unanimous resolution against terrorism coming from across the border, an apparent reference to Pakistan.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said Home Minister Rajnath Singh would make a statement in the House on the incident after the encounter is over. He said the Centre is in touch with the state and the House can discuss the incident after the Home Minister’s statement.
Naidu criticised the continuous slogan-shouting by Congress and some other opposition parties, saying they were not allowing members to speak on the attack which is a “serious issue”. He said the attack is an important issue concerning the national security. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, while referring to Naidu’s remarks, said the Home Minister could make a statement after the encounter ends.
TRS member A.P. Jitendra Reddy, while condemning the Gurdaspur attack, welcomed that the Home Minister will make a statement.