Rahul should apologise on Rafale deal issue: Rajnath

Rahul should apologise on Rafale deal issue: Rajnath

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh speaks in the Lok Sabha during the Winter Session of Parliament, New Delhi, Friday. (PTI Photo)

With the Supreme Court giving clean chit to the government on the controversial Rafale fighter plane deal, Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Lok Sabha demanded an apology from Congress president Rahul Gandhi in both houses of Parliament for "making efforts to mislead" the country on the issue for “political gains.”

Singh also said that Congress president, with his efforts to “mislead” the country on the issue, also tried to dent the “international image” of the country.

Amid din in the House, Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge rose from his seat to respond to Singh's remark but the Lok Sabha speaker did not allow him to speak in view of the pandemonium and adjourned the House for the day.

The Lok Sabha, soon after it assembled for the day in morning, witnessed pandemonium with the Congress members storming on the Well, sloganeering with placards in hands, demanding for constitution of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe Rafale fighter jet deal.

Other Opposition party members had also stormed the Well with placards in hands, raising various issues including demand for stopping construction of proposed dam across the Cauvery at Mekedatu.

The members of the treasury benches were also up on their feet, shouting slogans like “Rahul Gandhi chor hai (Rahul Gandhi is thief)," reacting to the Congress members' sloganeering “chowkidar chor hai (guard is the thief).”

“Supreme Court in its judgement has categorically said that there was no irregularity in the process adopted to procure Rafale fighter planes. It also said that no question can be raised with regard to its (fighter jet's) quality. Congress president tried to mislead the country for political gains. He must apologize on the floor of both of Houses of Parliament,” Home Minister said in Lok Sabha.

Kharge wanted to respond to the Home Minister's statement but Lok Sabha Speaker asked the Congress members and those from other Opposition parties to first go back to their seats.

“You can ask for discussion. Go back to your seat. Then only, you can say something. I am sorry,” the Speaker said and adjourned the House for the day within a minute after Singh's Statement.

Since morning the Lok Sabha witnessed two frequent adjournments due to ruckus over  Rafale plane deal before the House was adjourned for the day at about 12.15 pm.