Deputy Chairman Rejects Opposition Leader’s Request For Condolences Individually on Death of COD Rawat

New Delhi: Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh on Thursday made an obituary reference on the death of Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat and others but did not allow party leaders to express their condolences separately.

As Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge suggested that party leaders be allowed to make brief references after a statement on the tragedy by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, the Deputy Chairman did not permit it.

Harivansh said the House had collectively expressed its feelings on the incident through his obituary reference earlier, and there was no need as per House tradition for individual references.

As soon as the Defence Minister gave his statement after the presentation of official papers, Kharge said the floor leaders could be given two minutes each to speak on the tragic incident. His colleague Anand Sharma supported him saying this was a national tragedy.

The Deputy Chairman said sentiments of the entire House were associated with the reference made by him. He proceeded with the Zero Hour speeches thereafter.

In his obituary reference, Harivansh said General Rawat was commissioned on 16th December 1978, into the Fifth Battalion of the Eleventh Gorkha Rifles.

He had vast operational experience, having served across a wide spectrum of combat and conflict situations in India and abroad. Not only did he serve on the various frontiers of the country but also went on to command a Multinational Brigade in the UN Peace-Keeping Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

General Bipin Rawat had the distinction of being appointed as the country’s first Chief of Defence Staff, an office which he had been serving since 31st December 2019 till his sad demise, Harivansh said.

The House observed silence as a mark of respect to the memory of the departed.

(With inputs from agencies)