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Cong, Left target govt

New Delhi, July 17: The Congress and the Left today slammed the government for blocking a discussion in Parliament on the Gaza violence, alleging it was a sad day for Indian democracy.

The Congress said discussions on other nations have taken place in Parliament and pointed out that other countries considered lesser democracies than India have condemned the killing of innocent civilians.

“It is mystifying and regrettable that such a discussion is being blocked. Discussion in Parliament is not on merit. There can be different views in a democracy but how can a discussion be blocked?” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.

The CPM wondered why the government was blocking a discussion when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a signatory to the BRICS resolution against Israel, and alleged that the reason was political.

“The only reason is the government wants to please Israel and its patron, the US. The government is bending over backwards to please the US and Israel. The reasons are political, given the BJP’s affinity towards Israel and its policies,” CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said.

The BRICS nations, in their summit-end declaration at Brazil’s Fortaleza, stayed quiet on the current bombing in Gaza but criticised Israel for encroachments on occupied Palestinian territories — which was in keeping with India’s traditional position on the dispute.

“We call upon Israel and Palestine to resume negotiations leading to a two-state solution with a contiguous and economically viable Palestinian State existing side by side in peace with Israel, within mutually agreed and internationally recognised borders based on the 4 June 1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital. We oppose the continuous construction and expansion of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories by the Israeli government, which violates international law, gravely undermines peace efforts and threatens the viability of the two-state solution,” the resolution said.

Yechury recalled that the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government had held a discussion in Parliament on the US invasion in Iraq. Parliament had then condemned the invasion and demanded withdrawal of US forces from Iraq.

“If the Vajpayee government can allow such a discussion, why can’t the Modi government? It is intriguing,” Yechury said.