New Delhi, Jan 13 (UNI) External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee has clarified that the Government had not sought the sense of the House on the Indo-US nuclear deal during the last session but suo motu initiated a discussion where members talked about the subject.
''The issue was not framed before the members as per the parliamentary practice. There was no scope of ascertaining the views and opinion of parliament as the discussion took place under a rule in which this is not a requirement and also not relevant,'' he said in an interview with Karan Thapar for CNBC TV 18's 'India Tonight' programme to be telecast tomorrow night.
Left leaders had repeatedly stated that the debate in Parliament during the last session constituted an expression of the sense of the House.
Mr Mukherjee said various political parties had expressed their views in and outside parliament and their position on the issue is known. However, the leaders had expressed their views in speeches, he added.
''When some people demanded that the sense of the House should be taken, I told them as per the commitment of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh I will come to the House as and when the entire process is complete,'' the Minister said.
He said as the process was yet to be completed, the Government did not seek the opinion of the House.
''As per the parliamentary practice, there is a definite way to ascertain the views of the members. It was deliberately not done in this case with the consent of everybody.'' In the discussion, he said majority of the members expressed their views against the Government proceeding further in the nuclear deal. ''That point is alright. I am only disputing the contention that the opinion of parliament was sought in the debate. It was a discussion where the House does not express its views but only talks about the issue.'' Asked if the Left parties would accept this contention, Mr Mukherjee said the matter was under discussion. ''What they (Left) will accept or what not that we have to discuss. We are discussing,'' he said.
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