Despite an assurance on Tuesday, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee could not make a statement in the Rajya Sabha on the controversial Aircel-Maxis deal on the last day of the budget session of Parliament. The House was adjourned due to a ruckus created by UPA ally DMK and the BJP accused the government of deliberately using DMK to evade opposition questions.
The Aircel-Maxis deal had come under the scanner after Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy alleged that home minister P Chidambaram's son had benefited from it. Leader of the opposition Arun Jaitley had sought some clarifications from Mukherjee, and the government is believed to have sought a few days' time to reply.
But, on the final day, the Upper House was adjourned twice in the second half after DMK members rushed into the well over the Tamil Nadu Legislative Council (Repeal) Bill. Finally, the House was quietly adjourned sine die - with parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Bansal saying it could be taken up later - after the national song was played. This came after Jaitley said the opposition had feared something would happen, while adding that the matter be either taken up now or carried forward to the next session.
"The UPA government (has) got together to stall it. It's a charge against the UPA government and the country would remain aghast that the facts we wanted to ascertain from the finance minister were not given to us," BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy told a press conference a hour before the Rajya Sabha adjourned sine die.
In the Zero Hour earlier, minister of state for parliamentary affairs Rajiv Shukla had assured the House that Mukherjee would make a statement. Shukla had given the assurance after BJP MPs, led by senior leader M Venkaiah Naidu, demanded a response.
Shukla said Mukherjee was in the Lok Sabha for some important business and would respond before the House was adjourned. While the BJP was not satisfied with the government's explanation, the Chair asked Naidu to let the house function in view of the assurance.