BJP, Cong clash in RS over AgustaWestland case

BJP, Cong clash in RS over AgustaWestland case

The Upper House on Monday was in chaos as an unabated Congress protested against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement against Sonia Gandhi on AgustaWestland case.

As a result, the debate on Finance Bill could not start in the Rajya Sabha. The House witnessed noisy scenes from the beginning and was adjourned several times with the appeal of both Chairman Hamid Ansari and Deputy Chairman P J Kurien yielding no results.

Congress MPs were agitated over Modi's remarks about Italian court mentioning Gandhi and others, without taking their names, and they rushed to the Well shouting slogans against the prime minister.

They asked how the prime minister could make such allegations when Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had not stated this in his reply to debates on the controversy in both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha last week.

Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said no member in Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha during the debate on AgustaWestland deal said the UPA leadership took money. He said Modi had during poll rallies in Kerala and Tamil Nadu said that it was not his statement, but an Italian court has said that Gandhi was guilty in the case.

Azad asked why Modi had not intervened in the debates on the issue in either of the Houses and say this when Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had not named any UPA leader in his reply. With the Chair disallowing a notice under Rule 267, Congress MPs trooped to the Well.

Amid this, Trinamool Congress MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy demanded that action be taken against unruly MPs under Rule 255 but later in a ruling, the Chair said the rule could be invoked against only one or two members and not a group. Kurien said that could be done only if the government comes up with a motion.

While the morning session was a washout, similar situation prevailed in the afternoon session. While Minister of State for Home Jayanth Sinha moved the Finance Bill, the discussion could not be started as Congress MPs continued with their protest demanding Modi’s presence in the House.

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