Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and other members of his party on December 16 walked out of a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Defence, alleging that the panel's time was being wasted in discussing armed forces' uniform instead of the crucial issue of national security, sources said.
The panel was dicussing the issue of uniforms of the Army, Navy and the Air Force in the presence of the Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat when Gandhi intervened to say that instead of discussing this, the political leadership should discuss the issues of national security and how to strengthen the forces who are fighting the Chinese in Ladakh, the sources told news agency PTI.
Gandhi was disallowed to speak at the meeting by the panel chairman Jual Oram (BJP) when he sought to raise the issues of Chinese aggression and better equipping the soldiers at the border in Ladakh, they said.
A presentation on the colour of uniforms in the Army, Navy and the Air Force was being made to the Committee when a BJP member called for uniformity in the uniform colour of the three forces as in the US.
However, the former Congress chief said the Army, Navy and the Air Force should decide what the colour of their uniform should be, and not the politicians.
"The politicians should have no business to tell the Army, Navy or the Air Force which uniform to wear, and it is neither their jurisdiction nor domain and should not belittle them or insult them.
"The political leadership should instead provide hot tents, boots, and equip the soldiers who are braving out at the border and are fighting the Chinese in Ladakh," Gandhi was quoted as saying at the meeting.
According to the sources, Gandhi said: "The leadership should also focus on how to push back the enemy and support and strengthen the armed forces rather than dictating the colour of their uniforms."
After this led to a heated exchange, the committee chairman did not allow Gandhi to speak further, following which the Congress leader decided to walk out along with party members Rajeev Satav and Revanth Reddy.
Gandhi has been attacking the government over the issue of Chinese aggression. The BJP, however, had hit back, saying the Congress leader had been skipping the meetings of the Parliamentary Committee on Defence.--With inputs from PTI