Sir, therefore, it is a natural thing, when the Parliament is in Session, the Parliament would react to such happenings and it is more appropriate as well that no less than a person than the hon. Prime Minister should come to the House, take the House into confidence and react to the apprehensions that have been expressed by the Members and the news media. This demand is not a very major demand. Courtesy and propriety demands that the hon. Prime Minister should come and respond to the situation.

We were given to understand by the Parliamentary Affairs Minister that the Prime Minister was in discussion with His Excellency the Prime Minister of Vietnam. We value that discussion very much and want that it should be fruitful and go in the best interest of friendship between India and Vietnam. However, there is still time. Hon. Prime Minister can come before the House now. PMO must have received reports from Seattle. We have also received reports, we may be wrong, saying that the latest briefing in this regard was given by PMO to Shri Murasoli Maran in the late evening of yesterday. We do not know what instructions were given in that briefing. Therefore, I plead with the Government to realise the importance of the issue. In view of the importance of the issue, it is appropriate for the Prime Minister to come here and make a statement to update the position before we further react.

SHRI SOMNATH CHATTERJEE : Sir, we are very much concerned over this issue. I believe my friends on the other side are equally concerned, maybe some are more concerned and some are less, but the country as a whole is highly concerned over this matter and rightly so. This is not an ordinary matter. Our reservations over WTO are there. Certain developments are emanating out of that and we are greatly worried. We had seen Shri Murasoli Maran expressing that he wanted to be equipped to fight against many onslaughts that were apprehended. This is precisely what has happened. Their apprehensions seem to be justified from what appears in the newspapers. Even then this Government is sitting like a sphinx. This is an important matter, a matter concerning the country as a whole, its future, its economy and the Government does not seem to wake up!

I have been requesting the earlier Governments also that in matters of great moment for India's history such as this, the Government should on its own come and make a suo motu statement on the floor of the House. Somehow, we are not able to develop that culture. It has become a habit that unless Opposition Members rise in their places, justifiably so, and express their reservations, Government does not wake up from its slumber. This Government is following all the bad habits of some of the earlier Governments, and with better expertise it seems. It is a matter for them to consider, I do not know, and a matter which the country will decide.

The House is agitated over this issue. The whole country is agitated. Who will tell the country as to what is happening except the leader of the Government? Who will take the country into confidence through this House? It is not a routine matter where one can say that one is not available, somebody else is there to take notes while one is away. Is this a matter to be dealt with in such manner? We are highly concerned, and I am sure you are also concerned, over this issue. Let the Government respond adequately through the appropriate authority.

b. Pִƶ |ɺn ʺƽ : +vI ɽn, Z < {ɮ x * ... (ɴvx)

MR. SPEAKER: Dr. Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, you have already raised this issue during `zero hour' today.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI G.M. BANATWALLA (PONNANI): Sir, there is another thing here. In view of the seriousness of the situation the Prime Minister should come to the House. The nation must know about this from the highest level because there are serious misgivings. This is our humble demand and a simple demand. I do not know why the Government is so adamant! Let the Prime Minister come here and satisfy the House.

MR. SPEAKER: Shri Banatwalla, the Government is ready to respond. The Minister is on his legs.

SHRIMATI GEETA MUKHERJEE (PANSKURA): Sir, kindly give me two minutes.

MR. SPEAKER: The Minister is ready to reply. Please do not obstruct the Minister.

b. Pִƶ |ɺn ʺƽ : E ` V>?

+vI ɽn : +{ `B*

I have allowed the Minister.

b. Pִƶ |ɺn ʺƽ : +{x ɤ E i x Ex Z x E Sƺ xɽ n * ɽ n E ʽi E ɴɱ *

... (ɴvx)

Z < {ɮ Vn xɽ x *

... (ɴvx)

+vI ɽn : +{ `B*

b. Pִƶ |ɺn ʺƽ : Ec +ɤn E Mɱ E] VB + ` * ... (ɴvx) bɱ.].+. {ɮ niJi x V *

... (ɴvx)

MR. SPEAKER: This is too much. This will not go on record.

(Interruptions) ... (Not recorded)

MR. SPEAKER: His speech will not form part of the record.

(Interruptions) ... (Not recorded)

MR. SPEAKER: Yes, now the hon. Minister of Parliamentary Affairs.

SHRI PRAMOD MAHAJAN: Sir, there cannot be two opinions that the Seattle Conference is a very important conference, and the decisions taken there, as rightly said by our hon. colleague Shri Mulayam Singh, are going to affect one billion people of this nation. That is why, this Government, right from the beginning, not only tried to take the decision at the Government level but we would like to talk to the Opposition also.

For the first time in the history of the Seattle Conference, the Indian delegation is there not only with the Government delegation but the major Opposition party Members are also there to consult, advise and guide the Leader of the delegation so that the national interest is protected there.

SHRI SUDIP BANDYOPADHYAY (CALCUTTA NORTH WEST): Who is representing from the CPI(M), please let us know. Kindly tell us the names of the persons who are representing at the Seattle Conference. (Interruptions)... We would like to know the names of the Members participating there... (Interruptions)... We are keen to know.

MR. SPEAKER: No, no. Shri Sudip Bandyopadhyay, please take your seat.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI PRAMOD MAHAJAN: As I told earlier that any decision taken at the Seattle Conference is not only going to affect the particular portion of the society, it is going to affect the entire nation. So, naturally, we tried this time to see that the delegation also reflects the whole country, and not the Government side only.

The Seattle Conference has started. I cannot comment as to what reports are there. But I appreciate the concern of the Opposition. It is not only the concern of the Opposition, the whole nation has a right to know about it.... (Interruptions)...Let me complete.

The nation has a right to know as to what is happening at Seattle. The nation will only know through Parliament, and Parliament is in Session. So, naturally, we appreciate the concern of Parliament and particularly of the Opposition Members that the Government should come out with the recent developments at Seattle.

As I told you earlier, Sir, the hon. Prime Minister is busy with a luncheon discussion in Hyderabad House at this juncture with Vietnamese President. That will be over by about quarter to Four. So, the hon. Prime Minister will come to the House at about five o'clock and answer all questions raised.

If any further questions are there, the Prime Minister is competent here to answer. I will request one more thing. I appreciate the concern of the Opposition. But my only request is this : it is 2.30 p.m. now. I promise to bring the Prime Minister at 5 o'clock. Between these 2 1/2 hours, it being almost early morning or night in Seattle, nothing is going to happen in Seattle in the next 2 1/2 hours. So, I would request the Opposition to wait till 5 o'clock and then the Prime Minister will come and answer all your queries.

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... (ɴvx)

MR. SPEAKER: In the meanwhile, we will have business also.

ֱɪɨ ʺƽ n : xɨx i EVB*

... (ɴvx)

|ɨn ɽVx : E< xɨx xɽ E * |vx j V E x E E ֱɪɨ ʺƽ V Sɽi E +{ nx +B i =xx E E Wɰ +>M* + =xE f< P] <iWɮ xɽ E Ei ? <ix E iɤ |vx j V ʨɱx E? f< P] <iWɮ i EVB*

... (ɴvx)

ֱɪɨ ʺƽ n : +vI ɽn, < ɴɱ E E ɨVɴn {] E nx Vnɮ ʴɮv Ex {c * <E ʴɮv ɮ ɨVɴn {] {S ʨx] E ʱB nx ʽEɮ Ei *

14.27 V

( i{ɶSi ֱɪɨ ʺƽ n il EU +x xxҪ n x nx ʽMǨx E*)

... (Interruptions)

SHRI SOMNATH CHATTERJEE : I have suggested that if the Government comes on its own in such important matters in the morning, so much valuable time can be saved and we can know the Government's view because it came out in the newspaper. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Hon. Members, please take your seats.

... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Please take your seats. The hon. Minister is here.

14.28 hours

(At this stage, Shri Somnath Chatterjee and some other

hon. Members left the House.)


MR. SPEAKER: Nothing will go on record except what Shri Rampal Singh says.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI PRIYA RANJAN DASMUNSI (RAIGANJ): If necessary, you must reprimand the hon. Member.

MR. SPEAKER: This is happening many times. It is happening on both the sides. Shri Rampal Singh will now raise his Matter under Rule 377.



*Not recorded.