Opposition creates ruckus in Rajya Sabha over Rafale deal

Ravi S Singh

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 10

The Rajya Sabha was adjourned by Chairperson Venkaiah Naidu in the face of vociferous protests by Opposition members on the Rafale jet deal as they demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committe (JPC) probe into it.

Earlier, Leader of the Opposition and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the Congress had given a notice for discussion on the deal, but was disallowed.

Newly elected Deputy Chairperson Harivansh was on the Chair. He said the notice for discussion had not been allowed by Chairperson Venkaiah Naidu.

When the House continued to face a ruckus, Harivansh adjourned it during the fag end of Zero Hour for about 10 minutes.

Azad said it had been the practice that Opposition in the Rajya Sabha was given opportinuty vide a Calling Attention and Short Duration discussion to raise issues of importance, which had been eroded during the current dispensation.

Batting for a discussion on the deal, he said the durations of the Parliament sessions was being gradually curtailed. “The deal is the biggest scam in the world,” he added.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vijay Goel countered Azad and other Congress leaders saying Parliament is not a forum for levelling allegations, but for debates and discussion and to legislate for the good of people.

“Baseless allegations against the Prime Minister or any other member cannot be allowed,” he said.

BJP president Amit Shah was not allowed to speak during discussions, including on farmers’ issue, in the House, Goel added.

When Opposition members objected to putting government bills in the business schedule in the afternoon earmarked for taking up Private Members’ Business (Resolutions), Goel said it seemed the Opposition is trying to thwart the bill to make instant triple talaq an offence.

The government has to do business. Hence, the duration of the session could also be extended to pass the bills, Goel added.

Subsequently, during Question Hour, which was presided over by Naidu, when the Opposition stepped up their protests on the Rafale issue, the House was adjourned till 2.30 pm.