Parliament derailed again; Govt flashes Agusta papers

RSTV Bureau
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar speaking in Lok Sabha on December 15, 2016.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar speaking in Lok Sabha on December 15, 2016.

On Thursday, the penultimate day of the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament, both Houses were again adjourned without much work. This time the issue was the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal.

In the Lok Sabha, the treasury benches shouted slogans and flashed newspaper reports of the Mail Today story that alleged corruption by the Congress in the deal.

The Lower House was adjourned for the day just after noon as the uproar continued.

Even though both the government and the Opposition stated that they were ready for a debate on demonetisation, both sides continued to shout slogans and disrupt proceedings.

Leader of the Congress in the House, Mallikarjun Kharge, accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of shying away from a debate. In turn Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar was heard saying, “When the Parliament started we have been continuously telling them that we are ready to debate on demonetisation…we were ready then, we are ready now and we will be ready in the future also, but they (Opposition) has been stalling it for the past 20 days.”

Kumar then accused the Congress of doing “note jugaad” and spoke about the alleged expose in the AgustaWestaland VVIP chopper deal and accused the Gandhi family of involvement. He read out loud the headline from the newspaper.

“Rahul Gandhi is running away from a debate, not us,” Ananth Kumar alleged amidst a loud uproar from the Congress members in the House, after which the House was adjourned for the day.

Uproar in the Rajya Sabha over the issue of AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal

Uproar in the Rajya Sabha over the issue of AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal

In the Rajya Sabha, Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad was not allowed to speak on the plight of the farmers who were severely hit by demonetisation.

Here too, the treasury benches created an uproar and flashed newspaper reports, which prompted Azad to say, “In this session, both in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, it is the ruling party which is disturbing the House and not letting the Parliament to function.”

“Let it go on record, this is the first time in the history of India after independence…it is the ruling party that is not allowing the House of function,” repeated Azad.

After multiple adjournments through the day, the Upper House was finally adjourned soon after 2pm.

“Both sides are disrupting…that means both sides do not want discussion,” said Deputy Chairman of the House PJ Kurien as the uproar continued.

The Opposition created uproar and reiterated the plight of the farmers and demanded a loan waiver for them, while the government shouted slogans waiving the papers on the VVIP chopper scam.

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