Gujarat gas project issue a ploy of Congress: Jaitley

Krishnanand Tripathi
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley rejected the Congress' demand for a discussion on the issue and described it as a 'non issue'.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley rejected the Congress’ demand for a discussion on the issue and described it as a ‘non issue’.

Leader of Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley today rejected Congress demand for a discussion on a CAG report pointing to anomalies in Gujarat’s KG Basin gas project, saying this was a ‘diversionary tactic’ of the Opposition party by raising a ‘non-issue’.

Jaitley said the CAG report was being considered by the Public Accounts Committee of the Gujarat Assembly and hence it would be a wrong precedent 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”.

As the pandemonium continued, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien adjourned the House till 3 PM.