The Lok Sabha on Tuesday witnessed protests and a walkout by Congress after the government rejected its demand to set up a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the Rafale issue.
Rejecting the demand for a JPC probe, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the Opposition party should not try to “repeat a lie to make it a truth”. “The issue of Rafale has been discussed in the House. Even the Supreme Court has given a judgment on it. What an irony is this? You cannot repeat a lie several times and try to make it a truth,” Singh said after Congress’s Mallikarjun Kharge demanded that a JPC be set up.
But, Kharge, who had moved a notice for an adjournment motion, did not agree. “I respect the Home Minister and we thank him for his willingness to react to what we said. But where is the Prime Minister? The Prime Minister is scared of a JPC. Since you are not heeding to the demand for a JPC, we are staging a walkout,” the Congress leader said.
Earlier, the Lok Sabha proceedings were disrupted during the Question Hour when Speaker Sumitra Mahajan took strong exception to Congress MPs holding banners with slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“What you are doing is absolutely wrong and improper. You have been flouting rules by holding such placards…Discussion (on Rafale) has already taken place … I am forced to say it is below standards,” the Speaker said, adjourning the House for 25 minutes.
When the House met again, Congress MPs gathered in the Well. They were soon joined by TDP MPs in the protest.
When the Zero Hour began, Congress MPs went back to their seats as Kharge stood up to raise the issue. But when the Speaker started asking BJP and other MPs to raise their matters, Congress MPs came back to the centre of the House to protest. Then the Speaker allowed Kharge to speak.
“We give notices on adjournment motion so that we get a chance to tell the nation,” Kharge said. The Speaker interrupted, “Everyday you do it and also before the people.”
Kharge repeated his party’s demand for a JPC, which the Home Minister rejected.