Rafale deal: Rajya Sabha adjourns amid protests

Last Updated 18 December 2018, 18:20 IST

The proceedings in the Rajya Sabha were disrupted for the sixth consecutive day on Tuesday over the Rafale jet deal and Cauvery issues, leading to adjournment of the House for the day.

When House was assembled for the sixth day of the Winter Session, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu informed the members that various notices on urgent matters, ranging from cyclones affecting lives in some states to price rise to agriculture crisis, have been admitted for discussion.

Soon after the papers were laid by the ministers in the morning, members from the two major political parties of Tamil Nadu — AIADMK and DMK — trooped into the Well of the House, carrying placards and shouting slogans against construction of a dam on Cauvery river.

Some members from Andhra Pradesh were also seen displaying placards demanding special status for the state.

Amid sloganeering, Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the privilege motion against the government on the Rafale jet deal should be accepted as the matter is agitating people.

Azad alleged the government has misled Parliament and the Supreme Court on the issue, triggering vociferous protests from the treasury benches.

The senior Congress leader said the government has no right to continue in office and "should go".

Naidu, however, said that the Chair should be allowed to take a view on the Privilege notice. The Congress had given the notice demanding an explanation from the government on why it provided the Supreme Court "wrong" information on the purchase of Rafale fighter jet from a French company.

Countering Azad, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel said the government was ready to discuss all issues, including Rafale.

He demanded that the Congress apologise in the wake of the apex court's refusal to order an SIT probe in Rafale deal and Sajjan Kumar's conviction by the Delhi High Court in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

Despite the repeated requests, when the members refused to relent, the Chairman adjourned the House till 2 pm. When the House reassembled at 2 pm, Opposition members continued their protests leading to the chair to adjourn the House till Wednesday.

(Published 18 December 2018, 15:32 IST)

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