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Parliament HIGHLIGHTS: Government has no role in choosing offset partner, says Nirmala Sitharaman

Parliament HIGHLIGHTS: As Congress on Friday launched a fresh attack on the BJP Government on Rafale, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman resorted to a point-wise analysis of the whole issue. She said there was no agreement between the HAL and Dassault, and that the Congress was shedding crocodile tears for HAL.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: January 4, 2019 7:06:11 pm
Nirmala Sitharaman attacked the Opposition over the Rafale Deal in Lok Sabha on Friday. (LSTV screen grab)

Taking up the Congress challenge over Rafale, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday resorted to a point-by-point analysis of the deal in Lok Sabha, rejecting a number of accusations by the Congress government. She said that timely purchase of equipment should be the priority while negotiating defence deals. She also clarified there was no agreement between HAL and Dassault Aviation, and that the Congress was shedding crocodile tears for Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

Taking a swipe at the Congress party over its allegation that the government did favour to Anil Ambani by making his company the offset partner of the Rafale deal, the defence minister reminded it of Bofors scam and said, “For every ‘AA (Anil Ambani)’ there is a ‘Q (Quattrocchi)’ and ‘RV (Robert Vadra)’,” she said.

Congress chief also asked the defence minister to tell the House who decided on giving the offset contract to Anil Ambani firm. “Price is not part of the secrecy pact. My question is Anil Ambani was brought in for the contract. Who was the one to decide on Anil Ambani?” said Gandhi.

Live Blog

A day after it was adjourned amid protests, the Lok Sabha resumes debate on Rafale. FOLLOW HIGHLIGHTS here.

18:29 (IST)04 Jan 2019
Lok Sabha adjourned

The Lok Sabha has been adjourned till 11 am on Monday, January 7

18:23 (IST)04 Jan 2019
Govt making a mockery of all institutions including Parliament: Derek O'Brien

"Friday evening 5pm. Lok Sabha takes up Aadhaar Amendment Bill for discussion and passing. Convention says House never takes up Bills on Friday afternoon as it is Private Members Bill Day. LS almost empty. This Govt making a mockery of all institutions including Parliament," the O'Brien tweeted.

18:10 (IST)04 Jan 2019
Aadhaar Amendment Bill passed in LS

The Aadhaar Amendment Bill has been passed in the house.

 
18:00 (IST)04 Jan 2019
Aadhar Amendment Bill, 2018 for consideration in LS

The Aadhar and other laws (Amendment Bill, 2018) is currently in consideration in the Lok Sabha.


LSTV screen grab
17:37 (IST)04 Jan 2019
Rajya Sabha adjourned

The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 11 am on Monday, January 7

17:35 (IST)04 Jan 2019
Defence Minister has completely demolished Congress party's lies: Amit Shah

"Defence Minister has completely demolished Congress party's lies and misinformation campaign on Rafale with her excellent speech loaded with facts. I congratulate her for bringing the truth to the nation," BJP president Amit Shah tweeted.

17:33 (IST)04 Jan 2019
Govt looking into frauds cases below One lakh transaction: Ravi Shankar Prasad in RS

Government is working with the Reserve Bank (RBI) to look into cases of financial frauds involving amounts which are below Rs 1 lakh, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in Rajya Sabha on Friday.

A Financial Data Protection bill has been drafted that aims to address issues related to data theft, including from social networking websites, the minister added.

17:23 (IST)04 Jan 2019
Rahul Gandhi after Rafale debate in LS

"You (Def Min) accepted in your speech that you started a new contract of buying 36 aircraft, so I asked them if the people involved in the negotiations objected to this bypass surgery, yes or no? Instead of answering this, she ran away," Gandhi said.

17:19 (IST)04 Jan 2019
Nirmala Sitharaman Sitharaman on offset policy

Earlier today, the Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament said, "As per offset guidelines,defence acquisition council may prescribe varying offset obligations.Accordingly, offset obligation of 50% was prescribed for #Rafale.If you buy for Rs.100,you have to invest or procure Rs.50 from India."

16:51 (IST)04 Jan 2019
Specifics questions were not answered: Rahul Gandhi

Speaking outside the Parliament, the Congress President Rahul Gandhi said, "Defence minister gave a speech for over two hours and still didn't answer my questions."

16:46 (IST)04 Jan 2019
You demolished the fake campaign: Arun Jailey to Nirmala Sitharaman

Well done! Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman ji, for an outstanding performance. You demolished the fake campaign. We are all proud of your performance, the Finance minister tweeted.

16:35 (IST)04 Jan 2019
Have you (Rahul Gandhi) apologised after having winked an eye at PM: Nirmala Sitharaman

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Lok Sabha: Have you (Rahul Gandhi) apologised after having winked an eye at PM, after hugging the PM? This is not the way a House should run.

16:31 (IST)04 Jan 2019
I have my honour intact..PM has his honour intact: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

"I don't have a 'khandan' to boast on. PM also comes from a poor background. He has come here from hard work. I have my honour intact. PM has his honour intact. We have all come from normal backgrounds," Sitharaman said. 

LSTV screen grab
16:11 (IST)04 Jan 2019
Who was the one to decide on Anil Ambani, asks Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi in Parliament: Price is not part of the secrecy pact. My question is Anil Ambani was brought in for the contract. Who was the one to decide on Anil Ambani?

16:06 (IST)04 Jan 2019
CAG's complete draft audit report has been recieved, response under preparation: Sitharaman

CAG's complete draft audit report has been recieved, response under preparation: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

15:59 (IST)04 Jan 2019
Bofors brought Congress down, Rafale will bring Modi back: Sitharaman

"Def ministry has run without Dalal's under PM Modi leadership. Boforce was a scam, Rafale is a decision taken in national interest," Sitharaman said.

Bofors brought Congress down, Rafale will bring Modi back to build new India and remove corruption stinking around Congress, Sitharaman added.

 (LSTV grab via PTI)
15:36 (IST)04 Jan 2019
We did not mislead the Supreme Court: Nirmala Sitharaman

Citing the SC's Rafale judgment, the Def minister said, "We did not mislead the Supreme Court."

15:35 (IST)04 Jan 2019
Sitharaman targets Rahul Gandhi over Rafale deal with France

A Congress spokesperson had said that Congress will not discuss India's defence deals with a foreign head of state, this discussion the Govt has to do with France and not us, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.  But Rahul Gandhi on 20 July in Parliament said that he asked the French Pres about this secrecy pact but he denied its existence. He also told me that he has no issues in making the cost public," she added.  Who is truthful? One of them is misleading the country. I want proof of this, Sitharaman added. 

15:25 (IST)04 Jan 2019
Cong is misleading country both in and outside the House: Sitharaman

Congress party  has built entire campaign on Rafale on falsehood and is misleading country both in and outside the House. 

15:09 (IST)04 Jan 2019
Earlier in the day, Congress Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala cornered the BJP government over the issue

Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Rajya Sabha on Thursday. (PTI/LSTV grab)

In Rajya Sabha, Private Members' Business (Resolutions) is scheduled for today. The upper house proceedings started with a discussion on Women's Reservation Bill and other issues of public interest.

The debate on Rafale didn't materialise in the Lok Sabha yesterday. However, the Rajya Sabha debate on Kashmir issue saw a face-off between Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and Finace Minister Arun Jaitley.

When Azad asked whether the government was willing to hold assembly elections along with Lok Sabha polls, Rajnath Singh said “yadi Election Commission chahta hai toh hamari sarkar ko koi aapati nahin hogi" (If the Election Commission desires, our government will have no objection).

Rajya Sabha then passed with a voice vote a resolution moved by Singh, seeking approval of the House for imposition of President’s rule.

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