The Congress is likely to give a notice to move an adjournment motion on the Rafale deal in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, sources disclosed here on Tuesday.
While the government has repeatedly said that it is ready for a discussion on all issues, it is not clear if it would agree to the admission of an adjournment motion. Even if it agrees to a debate on the deal, the government may insist on a talk-out motion.
Mallikarjun Kharge, leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha, told an all-party meeting convened by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan that his party wanted issues related to the Rafale deal and the “misuse” of key agencies like the CBI and ED to be discussed first.
Kharge made the demand at the meeting even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the media outside that “there should be an open discussion”. “There should be a debate,” Modi said, expressing confidence that all political parties “who have to face the electoral test in May (2019), while keeping in mind the people, will utilise the session for public interest and not political interest”. The government, he maintained, had always striven to discuss all issues.
Kharge’s Rajya Sabha colleague, Ghulam Nabi Azad, had Monday demanded an inquiry by a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) into the Rafale deal at a session-eve all-party meeting called by the government.
Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay suggested that the Lok Sabha dispose of contentious issues in the last session before everything else to pave way for a smooth conduct of proceedings.
Biju Janata Dal leader Bhartuhari Mahtab called for a special sitting of Parliament for the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Kharge and NCP’s Supriya Sule promptly supported the suggestion. Mahtab also called for full Central support to the Odisha government for funding a scheme to provide scholarships to students belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
AIADMK MP Ponnusamy Venugopal said his party was opposed to the Dam Safety Bill “in its present form”.
Prem Singh Chandumajara of the Akali Dal made a plea for the preparation and display of a portrait of Uddham Singh in the Parliament House to mark the centenary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.