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'Technical correction needed': Government after Minister denies signing Hamas Q&A

'Technical correction needed': Government after Minister denies signing Hamas Q&A

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Saturday said a technical correction is being made to mention Union Minister V Muraleedharan's name as the one who replied to a question on Hamas in Lok Sabha.

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The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Saturday said a technical correction is being made to mention Union Minister V Muraleedharan's name as the one who replied to a question on Hamas in Lok Sabha.

The clarification came after a document showed Union Minister Meenakshi Lekhi's name as the one answering questions on whether India plans to declare Hamas a terror group.

Both Lekhi and Muraleedharan are ministers of state in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

Lekhi had responded to the document and denied signing the reply to the Parliament question. On her official X handle, Lekhi tagged Union Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and the Prime Minister's Office and wrote, "You have been misinformed as I have not signed any paper with this question and this answer Dr S Jaishankar, PMO India."

Hours after Lekhi's denial, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi issued a statement saying, "We have noted that Lok Sabha Unstarred Question No. 980 answered on 8 December 2023 needs a technical correction in terms of reflecting Shri V Muraleedharan as the Minister of State replying to the Parliament Question. This is being suitably undertaken."

The question titled "Declaration of Hamas as a Terrorist Organisation" was posed by Congress MP Kumbakudi Sudhakaran.

It asked the Ministry of External Affairs whether the central government has any proposal to declare Hamas as a terrorist organisation in India and if the Israeli government raised any such demands with the Centre.

"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," the answer to the question mentioned.

When pointed out that the Lok Sabha and the MEA websites had the answer to the question mentioned in her name, Lekhi had said an "inquiry will reveal the culprit". 

Edited By: Joydeep Hazarika
Published On: Dec 09, 2023