Rajya Sabha saw string of early adjournments on Monday as Congress party raised protest over the issue of CAG report listing alleged irregularities in the exploration of gas reserves in Krishna Godavari (KG) river basin by Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation. The Centre, on the other hand, termed Congress’s protest as a tactic to divert attention from Agusta West land controversy.
But even before the Congress-BJP wrangle, Trinamool Congress (TMC) asked for the suspension of all other business in the house demanding discussion on the VVIP chopper deal controversy.
Soon after the papers were laid by the MPs and ministers, Congress party questioned Centre over CAG report on KG Basin issue, where their MP Madhusudan Mistry alleged that irregularities of over Rs 30,000 crore were found.
“Govt has been running away from the discussion… We want this issue to be settled. This matter must be discussed,” Anand Sharma, Congress’ Deputy Leader said.
Thought Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien told the Congress MP that his notice is under consideration, the principal opposition party didn’t yield in their protest.
Pandemonium soon followed with Congress MPs marching into the Well of the house raising slogans against the Centre.
“Gujarat assembly is examining the CAG report. How can issues examined by the state legislative assemblies be taken up here,” MoS Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said dubbing Congress party’s protest as “diversionary tactics” to stave off discussion from the AgustaWestland matter.
BJP has been targeting the principal opposition party since last week following media reports that an Italian court, which convicted AgustaWestland chief Giuseppe Orsi, reportedly said how the firm allegedly paid bribes to top Congress leaders to bag the Rs. 3,600 crore deal.
As Congress members continued their protest, TMC demanded discussion on the Agusta Westland issue, even using certain words from the media reports pertaining to the Italian court order.
“Who all have taken bribe in AgustaWestland deal? Defence minister will have to reveal their identity… Why is this government silent so far? Who all have taken bribe,” TMC member Sukhendu Shekhar Roy asked citing the news reports on VVIP chopper deal controversy.
The TMC MP was later asked by the Chairman to withdraw himself for the remainder of the day as he kept raising the matter even after his notice for adjournment was rejected.