New Delhi: The Rafale jet deal issue rocked both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, with the Congress demanding a JPC probe into the defence deal.
The Congress raised the Rafale controversy, citing a news report which claimed the Defence Ministry had raised strong objections to “parallel negotiations” conducted by the PMO with France, which “weakened negotiating position of the Ministry of Defence and Indian Negotiating Team”.
“We demand a joint parliamentary committee, everything will be revealed then, we don’t want any explanation now, have heard many explanations, from PM also,” said senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge.
Rubbishing the media report, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that it is like flogging a dead horse, further accusing the opposition of playing into hands of multinationals and vested interests.
As soon as the House took up Question Hour at 11 AM, members from Congress, the Left, Trinamool Congress and TDP rushed into the Well holding placards of a newspaper clipping which claimed the Defence Ministry had protested to the PMO the mechanism being adopted for Rafale deal.
As members shouted slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Speaker adjourned the House till noon at around 11.05 AM.
Earlier Speaker Sumitra Mahajan told members that she would allow them to raise the issue after Question Hour. But the opposition persisted with its protest.
Earlier, the Rajya Sabha witnessed opposition uproar, leading to adjournment of the proceedings for the day.
Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad sought to raise the issue but Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu disallowed him, saying he has reserved a final judgement on the notice by Congress members under Rule 267 on the issue.
Rule 267 provide for setting aside the business of the day to discuss the issue being raised.
Naidu said nobody can speak on the issue that has been reserved by the chair. He ordered that nothing will go on record.
However, Azad continued to speak and other opposition members joined in.
Congress member shouted slogans like “Chowkidar chor hai”, which met with strong resistance from treasury benches.
Reacting to the media report, the Defence Ministry said that its dissent note on the negotiations had nothing to do with the pricing of the deal but was about sovereign guarantees and general terms and conditions.