Congress deputy leader Anand Sharma and Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley sparred Thursday over a demand for the resignation of Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju over fraud in a power plant scam in Arunachal Pradesh.
Having given a notice, Sharma raised the matter during question hour. “The minister must be asked to resign… The minister has to go or else no fair inquiry would be possible.”
Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi accused the Congress of not allowing the House to run. Sharma continued to demand the resignation.
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This led to heated exchanges and slogans from both sides, in contrast to the cheerful mood in which the two sides had helped pass the bill on disabled persons’ rights. There cannot be “Jekyll and Hyde character”, said chairman Hamid Ansari, who adjourned the House. When the House resumed, Sharma raised the issue again, leading to Jaitley’s reaction.
“This kind of hit-and-run politics can’t do. Let him raise the issue and let him wait for my reply on the issue. We have examined every fact. The allegation made by the Congress party is totally fabricated. Bina samjhe huye farzi aarop laga dena… I dare you for a debate on this. An MP is just forwarding a representation. This is the allegation… The document he is relying on is a backdated forged report,” Jaitley said.
Jaitley then addressed Congress members, “Your party has misled you. It has levelled a farzi allegation.”
Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad responded, “If it is false, then let us have an inquiry. Prove that it is false.”
“There is rule, there is a procedure. Go by that. You cannot suo motu raise an allegation,” deputy chairman P J Kurien said.
Sharma was heard saying he has not mad any allegation but was referring to the videotape and media reports, an argument the chair rejected. “The government is trying to whitewash something. Probity and transparency demands which the Prime Minister is committed to,” Sharma said.
The noisy Opposition did not allow the Appropriation Bill to be taken up. “What can I do? On both sides, there is indiscipline. I will have to adjourn,” Kurien said.