Union Minister Meenakshi Lekhi on Saturday said she did not approve any answer to a question in the Lok Sabha on declaring Hamas a terrorist organisation, prompting the opposition to call for a probe.
"You have been misinformed as I have not signed any paper with this question and this answer," the minister of state for external affairs said in response to a post on X on the Lok Sabha question on declaring Hamas a terrorist organisation.
The unstarred question No. 980, titled "Declaration of Hamas as Terrorist Organisation", was put by Congress MP Kumbakudi Sudhakaran.
"Designation of an organisation as terrorist is covered under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and declaring any organisation as terrorist is considered as per the provisions of the Act by the relevant government departments," Lekhi had said in the reply on X.
Shiv Sena (UBT) Rajya Sabha member Priyanka Chaturvedi on X said that "is she (Lekhi) then claiming it is a forged response, if yes this is a serious breach and violation of the rules that prevail. Would be grateful for a clarification from @MEAIndia".
Sudhakaran, who represents Kannur in the Lower House of Parliament, had asked whether the government has any proposal to declare Hamas a terrorist organisation in India, if so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefore. He had also asked whether the government of Israel has raised any demand with the government of India to declare Hamas a terrorist organisation, if so, the details thereof.
The question was answered on Friday and it figures on the list of unstarred questions on the Lok Sabha website.
When pointed out that the Lok Sabha and the External Affairs Ministry websites had the question mentioned in her name, Lekhi said "inquiry will reveal the culprit".
"Asking questions that were submitted through someone else led to expulsion of an MP yesterday, today a minister denies that reply to a PQ (Parliament Question) was approved by her, shouldn't that be investigated too? Shouldn’t it lead to seeking accountability, however innocuous the response from the Ministry of External Affairs," Chaturvedi said on X.
"Who logged in for you?" Congress leader Amitabh Dubey asked in response to Lekhi's post on X.