First day of the Winter session of Lok Sabha this year started with playing of National Anthem as usual.
As the Speaker was requesting the Secretary of the House to administer oath to new members of Parliament, one Member (Prof. Saugata Roy) interrupted and said: "Sir, Dr. Farooq Abdullah ji yahan par nahim hai" (Dr. Farooq Abdullah is not present here)." However, the proceedings of the house continued.
Dr. Farooq Abdullah is representative of the Constituency Srinagar, the Capital of erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir (now a Union Territory). His son Omar Abdullah is a former Chief Minister of the State.
During the question hour, MP NK Premachandran, said: Dr. Farooq Abdullah, a very learned and senior Member of the House, is not present in the House. But the MP was not able to complete his question.
Thereafter, MP Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary spoke. He said that Dr. Abdullah is not keeping well and even after 108 days, he is under detention. He also demanded to end lock down in Kashmir.
Another MP TR Baalu said: My dear Sir, what has happened to Mr. Farooq Abdullah? Has he been detained under law? It is an illegal detention. How could you permit? You are the custodian of the House. I do not find fault with friends from the other side, who are in the Ruling Party. I will find fault with you only. It is for you to intervene and see that this does not happen. Many Members raise their voices in the temple of democracy. What has happened to Ms. Mehbooba? She is a lady who is the former Chief Minister of Kashmir. Her daughter reported in the Press that her mother was manhandled. Is it proper on the part of the Ruling Party? Are we here to see all these things?
Yet another MP Husnain Masoodi said that he could prove that Farooq Abdullah is under detention. He told the Speaker: You are under a Constitutional obligation to ensure his participation in the House. It is not just his right to be present in the house, but that of 20 Lakh people in Srinagar to be not voiceless in this House.
Prof. Saugata Roy had given a notice for an Adjournment Motion on the continued detention of Dr. Farooq Abdullah. He said: He is 83 years old and he has been kept in preventive detention since 5th August. The Government has cited no reason excepting that he is detained under the Public Safety Act along with his son and former Chief Minister, Shri Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti who is also a former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. Dr. Farooq Abdullah has always taken a stand for integration of Jammu and Kashmir.
Objecting to some remarks made by Prof. Roy in his short speech, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi said:Sir, whatever he has spoken about Kashmir that it is becoming… (Not recorded) has to be expunged. What is this? What message is he going to give to the international community? Only on the basis of Rahul Gandhi's statement, people have gone to the UN. Kindly expunge that statement and it should not go on record.
Meanwhile in Rajya Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Article 370 was introduced in Rajya Sabha by then MP N. Gopalaswami. The very same house played a serious role in abrogation of Article 370, he added, terming it 'historic'.
MP TK Rangarajan criticized sudden abrogation of Article 370 and said: You are still not able to heal the wound. So, you have to correct it. And the people of Kashmir, people of Jammu, are still suffering. Our hon. Members from there are not able to attend this House or the other House. This is a very pity thing. We are discussing the '250th Session of Rajya Sabha', but we are not doing justice to our Constitution.
The question yet remains to be answered by the Centre. The question deserves a quick and precise answer. Where is Dr. Farooq Abdullah?