New Delhi, December 9: Union minister Meenakshi Lekhi on Saturday clarified that she did not authorise any document regarding the designation of Hamas as a terrorist organisation. This clarification follows the circulation of an image on social media purportedly showing an 'unstarred question' about declaring Hamas as a terrorist outfit, along with a response attributed to Meenakshi Lekhi.
Meenakshi Lekhi, who serves as Union Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture and represents the New Delhi constituency, took to X platform to refute the claims. She directly addressed External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and the Prime Minister's Office, stating, "You have been misinformed. I have not signed any paper with this question and this answer."
In response to Meenakshi Lekhi's denial, Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Priyanka Chaturvedi expressed concerns over the situation. She questioned Meenakshi Lekhi's denial of involvement in the response, suggesting that if she is disassociating herself from it, it could imply a forged response, which would be a serious breach of prevailing rules.
The alleged 'unstarred question' reportedly originated from Congress MP Kumbakudi Sudhakaran, inquiring whether the Central Government has intentions to declare Hamas as a terrorist organisation. Additionally, the question sought information on whether Israel had requested the same.
Although Israel's Ambassador to India, Naor Gilon, urged India to label Hamas as a terrorist outfit, the Indian government has not officially categorised the Palestinian group as such.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar have expressed concerns over the escalating Israel-Hamas conflict, advocating for restraint, de-escalation, and a peaceful resolution through dialogue and diplomacy. Jaishankar highlighted this stance in a recent response in the Lok Sabha, emphasizing India's commitment to a peaceful resolution and welcoming humanitarian pauses and hostage releases.
In the tweet below,— Priyanka Chaturvedi???????? (@priyankac19) December 9, 2023
- Meenakshi Lekhi ji is denying&disassociating to a response attributed to her
- says has no idea who drafted this as response to a PQ since she didn’t sign it
- is she then claiming it is a forged response, if yes this is a serious breach and violation of… pic.twitter.com/4mNscaFhpA
During the COP28 summit in the UAE earlier this month, Prime Minister Modi discussed the conflict with Israeli President Isaac Herzog, emphasising the need for a "two-state solution" to resolve the issue.