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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Uproar in Rajya Sabha over WTO issue

PTI  New Delhi, August 11, 2014
First Published: 13:51 IST(11/8/2014) | Last Updated: 16:54 IST(11/8/2014)

Rajya Sabha was adjourned twice during question hour on Monday as Congress created uproar saying there were inconsistencies in government statements on WTO though finance minister Arun Jaitley asserted there was no contradiction.

Jaitley said his party BJP had in December last year raised inconsistencies in the pact the previous UPA government had signed in WTO meeting in Bali and it stood by it.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Saturday hit out at UPA for allegedly sacrificing the interest of poor people in the Bali deal. In contrast, the new government stood firm on food security at the recent Geneva round of WTO negotiations, Modi had said.

Congress on the other hand said it had taken a tough stand on food security in the WTO meeting and Modi was contradicting what Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said on the floor of the House.

"There is no contradiction in what the commerce minister and the Prime Minister have said," Jaitley said when the House reassembled after a 10-minute adjournment forced by Congress.

Watch: Govt will stand by its public position: Arun Jaitley on WTO

Chairman Hamid Ansari said the issue can be taken up after the question hour but as Congress members were unrelenting, he adjourned the House till noon.

Soon after the House mourned the death of former member Ekanath K Thakur, former commerce minister and senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said he had given a notice for suspension of question hour to take up discussion on contradictions in government statements.

He said there was contradiction between what the Commerce Ministry had said in the House on August 5 and what the Prime Minister said on Saturday.

Parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu said the issue can be taken up after question hour.

But Sharma and other Congress members were unrelenting.

"Is the Prime Minister correct or the Minister for Commerce and Industry," Sharma asked.


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