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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 4, 2007
US senators letter to PM, Sethu Samudram project rock Parliament
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US senators letter to PM, Sethu Samudram project rock Parliament

The Parliament today witnessed noisy scenes with the opposition members in both the Houses protesting against the Government on two different issues -US senators letter to Prime Minister on ties with Iran and the Sethu Samudram project.

New Delhi, May 4 : The Parliament today witnessed noisy scenes with the opposition members in both the Houses protesting against the Government on two different issues -US senators' letter to Prime Minister on ties with Iran and the Sethu Samudram project.

The media report of US senators sending a letter to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh asking India to sever all military and energy ties with Iran led the opposition members in Rajya Sabha to voice their protest against the government and they alleged that this was yet another US attack on India's independent foreign policy.

The Left leaders also were seen joining the opposition chorus just when the Question Hour was proceeding.

Former Foreign Minister of India and BJP leader Yashwant Sinha demanded that the House must be made aware of the recent discussion that Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon had with US Deputy Secretary of State Nicholas Burns in Washington.

''This (Sending of letter by US senators) is a dangerous development. But the government has not thought it fit to take the House into confidence,'' Sinha said, adding, "The letter flies in the face of national interest of one billion Indians."

CPI (M) leader Brinda Karat also demanded that Prime Minister Dr. Singh should make a statement in the House.

In Lok Sabha too the opposition BJP continued their opposition against the Government, but here the issue was the 167-km long Sethu Samudram ship channel project that would connect Bay of Bengal and Gulf of Mannar.

The issue rocked the Lok Sabha for the second consecutive day, resulting in an hour-long adjournment of the proceedings till 1.30 p, when BJP leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra raised the issue alleging that the project threatened the safety of Ram Sethu.

This led DMK members to vehemently oppose BJP leader's contention and said that the issue should not be raised since it is a sub-judice matter.

The BJP has accused the Centre of attempting to destroy the evidence of the existence of ancient 'Ram Setu' (bridge) linking India and Sri Lanka through the Rs 2427 crore project. However, the government has maintained that there is no scientific evidence regarding the existence of any man-made structure in the proposed ship channel alignment.

ANI

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