Mounting attack on the opposition parties led by Congress, Home Minister Rajnath Singh called for Rahul Gandhi’s apology in Parliament after the Supreme Court dismissed a clutch of petitions calling for a court-monitored probe into the Rafale deal. Both the houses were adjourned for the day following disruption of proceedings by sparring ruling and opposition legislators.
Rajnath Singh, quoting the Supreme Court verdict in the Lok Sabha, said, “The Congress president tried to mislead public for political benefits and maligned India’s image globally, he should apologise to the house and to the people of the country. He thought ‘Hum to doobe hain sanam tum ko bhi le doobenge‘.”
Responding to the calls for Gandhi’s apology, senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said, “Our demand was for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) (into the Rafale deal) and it still stands, the main issue is pricing which SC said it did not want to comment on, as it is not in its jurisdiction. Home Minister is speaking on an incomplete judgment given on a PIL.”
The Winter Session of Parliament, which is yet to see a full day of business, witnessed a ruckus over the Rafale deal in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha following which the proceedings were adjourned for the day.
Amid huge uproar in the Rajya Sabha, Leader of the House and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was heard saying that the Opposition has been demanding a debate on the Rafale jet deal and so the question hour should be suspended to take up the issue. Meanwhile, the Congress legislators trooped into the well of the House seeking constitution of a JPC to probe the Rafale deal. As the uproar continued, Deputy Chairman Harivansh first adjourned the House till 11.30 am and then later for the day.
Similar scenes also prevailed in the lower house, where opposition members trooped into the Well carrying placards on various issues, including the alleged scam in Rafale deal. Opposition parties had expressed earlier that they will continue their protest against the government on four issues – farm woes, “assault’ on institutions like the CBI and RBI, jobs and price rise and Rafale.
The Supreme Court Friday gave a clean chit to the Narendra Modi government on the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France. The apex court said there was no occasion to doubt the decision-making process in the multi-billion dollar Rafale deal.