Congress steps up heat on Rafale deal

Congress steps up heat on Rafale deal

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi along with other Opposition party leaders raise slogans during a protest against the Union government over Rafale deal issue, at Parliament House in New Delhi on Friday. PTI

As curtains fell on the monsoon session, the Congress on Friday stepped up heat on the Modi government for the Rafale deal with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi joining the opposition protests in Parliament premises.

While some Opposition parties such as the CPI, AAP, RJD joined the protests at the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Parliament premises, the Congress ploughed a lonely furrow in both the Houses as other like-minded parties kept away.

The Congress' lone protests on Rafale deal prompted BJP member Anurag Thakur to quip that the main opposition should come better prepared for protests in the House. The Congress members' tried to force an adjournment in the Lok Sabha but staged a walkout later.

In the Rajya Sabha, where the Opposition has better numbers, Congress members forced two adjournments over their demand for a JPC in the Rafale deal.

The Congress has stepped up demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the Rafale deal and raising the issue in every discussion in the House. Congress members raised the Rafale issue in the discussion on the Supplementary Demands for Grants, the GST (Amendment) Bill and the Arbitration and Reconciliation Bill.

During the Zero Hour, Congress member Sunil Jakhar made a toy plane out of a newspaper and urged Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to allow him to place the “aircraft” on the table of the House.

“I can make a better Rafale than an industrialist who has no experience in manufacturing one. I have been practising it since last night,” Jakhar said after trooping to the Well of House as Congress members raised slogans and waved placards.

Earlier, the Congress had ruled out seeking a JPC probe on Rafale deal arguing that it would be a futile exercise as the Lok Sabha elections were merely a year away and even if the government agreed to it, the panel will not be in a position to present its report.

Asked about the change in their stance, a member of the Congress' Parliament strategy team said the demand for the JPC would help the party to keep the Rafale issue alive.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily