The political slugfest over the Augusta Westland chopper deal is unlikely to die anytime soon.
The issue led to a heated debate and disruptions in the Upper House on Wednesday and took centre stage in Lok Sabha on Thursday too.
1:05 pm Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 2 pm
11:45 am : Swamy’s speech expunged
In two days, parts of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s speech were twice expunged.
On Thursday, as he rose to intervene in another MP’s speech on Aligarh Muslim University, Swamy irked the Congress with his references to the Constitution of another country.
“The problem is the new gift of the BJP. It is totally out of context he made. This is only his second day in Rajya Sabha. And already his words have been twice expunged. There are 365 days. How many times will his words be expunged? He doesn’t know the difference between street language and that of Parliament. His hair has not become grey,” said Ghulam Nabi Azad, leader of the Opposition, lashing out at Swamy.
Rajya Sabha deputy chairman PJ Kurien told Swamy, “You are unnecessarily provoking others. Don’t do this. Sit down.”
As his party MPs went down in the Well of the House to protest against Swamy, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said, “He has unnecessarily and provocatively mentioning about an European country.”
11:40 am Ruckus in Parliament after Swamy raises AugustaWestland issue
11:31 am KC Tyagi brings up Bhagat Singh textbook issue in Parliament
Tyagi asked the HRD minister Smriti Irani to amend Delhi University textbooks that refer to Bhagat Singh as a ‘terrorist’. The Rajya Sabha agreed and said “amendments should be made.
JDU's KC Tyagi has raised a serious issue. I will convey the info to the concerned minister for appropriate steps:Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi,BJP— ANI (@ANI_news) April 28, 2016
11:15 am Jyotiraditya Scindia raises the Pakistan issue in the aftermath of the Pathankot terror attack
Under attack from the BJP over the Augusta Westland chopper deal, the Congress took up the government’s Pakistan policy to corner the BJP in Parliament.
Congress’ chief whip Jyotiraditya Scindia raised the Pakistan issue in the aftermath of the Pathankot terror attack.
Questioning the government’s decision to allow a Pakistan’s probe team in India, Scindia said, “We must negotiate from a position of strength. India Pakistan relations can’t be based on emotions.”
As the Congress members continued to speak on the issue during the Question Hour, union minister Uma Bharati, who was slated to answer questions on Ganga, quipped, “Congress members are more concerned about Pakistan than Ganga.”
In the Lok Sabha, notices have been served by some members of the Treasury Benches to speak on the issue.
Top Congress leaders huddled on Thursday morning to evolve a strategy to counter the BJP’s game plan.
On Wednesday, Congress president Sonia Gandhi came out to give statements on the issue.
“We have nothing to hide. Let them take my name. Where are the proofs? They are lying. This is a part of BJP’s strategy of character assassination,” Gandhi said in an impromptu interaction with reporters.
Later, the party fielded former defence minister Antony to hold a press conference and give rebuttals to the BJP’s charges.
BJP sources point out that the party has decided to attack the Congress aggressively on this issue. It wants its attacks to coincide with the ongoing assembly elections in four states, even though it spoils the chances for passage of bills in Parliament.
The AgustaWestland will also be used by the BJP to deflect the attention from the Congress attack on the dismissal of the Uttarakhand government in March.
As the Congress hopes to rally other parties over the “misuse” of the Article 356, the BJP is confident that an alleged corruption issue might be useful to thwart its attempts for a larger opposition unity.