On Thursday, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said that Opposition Members of Parliament were not allowed by the chairperson to pay tribute to late General Bipin Rawat and others who lost their lives in the Coonoor chopper crash.

“After Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s statement in Rajya Sabha, the Opposition demanded one-two minutes for each MP to pay tribute to General Bipin Rawat and others who died in the chopper crash. But we were not allowed. It is unfortunate and we condemn this attitude,” Congress leader Kharge said.

The deputy chair in the Rajya Sabha had said on the matter, “The House jointly expressed its grief and condolences, therefore individual statements are not required.”

Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and 12 others — including his wife Madhulika and 11 armed forces personnel — lost their lives in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor on Wednesday.


Mallikarjun Kharge said, “We demanded that after the statement by the government, the Opposition should also be given a chance to pay tribute by giving the Leader of Opposition and party floor leaders a few minutes to speak. The government and Rajya Sabha chairperson Venkaiah Naidu did not allow us to pay homage to the victims. See how the House is being run!”

Adding to this, the TMC tweeted, “Extremely appalling that Opposition Rajya Sabha MPs were not allowed to condole the tragic death of CDS and 12 others on record and stand in solidarity with the nation in this hour of grief.”

TMC MPs walked out of the Rajya Sabha over the issue.


Opposition MPs observed two minutes of silence in member of the victims of the chopper crash.

“Today is a very sad day and we have all come to pay homage to Bipin Rawat ji, his wife and other brave soldiers. We pray for the speedy recovery of the injured,” said Mallikarjun Kharge.


India today

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