Jaitley rejects Cong demand for debate on KG Basin as ‘non-issue’

  • PTI
  • Updated: May 02, 2016 18:09 IST
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley speaks in the Rajya Sabha in New Delhi on Monday. (PTI)

The government on Monday rejected the Congress party’s demand that Parliament discuss the Comptroller and Auditor General’s report on Gujarat’s KG Basin gas project, calling it a “diversionary tactic” and a “non-issue”.

Arun Jaitley, finance minister and leader of Rajya Sabha, said the the Public Accounts Committee of the Gujarat Assembly was studying the CAG report and it would therefore be wrong to raise the subject in the House.

He accused the Congress of raising the issue “as a diversionary tactic” to counter the Trinamool Congress (TMC) notice to have a discussion on the AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter issue.

Countering this, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said “this allegation is not true. We had given notice for this 4-5 days ago.”

Deputy Leader of Congress Anand Sharma said his party wanted a discussion on the AgustaWestland issue also and was “not running away”.

Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh also took a dig at Jaitley saying that the Leader of House has “characteristically” made a series of misleading statements.

Azad said it was a question of thousands of crores worth loans taken from nationalised banks for the project that has now gone down the drain.

Congress members today forced several adjournments of the House by raising slogans and trooping into the Well, demanding a statement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Countering Jaitley’s argument that it was a state matter, Azad said that oil and gas exploration was a national subject along with loans given by financial institutions.

Sharma too chipped in and said, “Let is be very clear. Offshore gas exploration is a central subject. What we are discussing here is of national importance. Thousands of crores from public banks were given as loans”.

The Congress members then trooped into the Well shouting slogans like “Now it is clear, Modi government is corrupt”. Countering them, BJP leaders also shouted slogans saying “Sonia Gandhi is corrupt”.

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