Rajya Sabha adjourned twice as Cong creates uproar over Rafale

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NEW DELHI, Aug 10 (PTI): The Rajya Sabha was adjourned twice within minutes during the pre-lunch session on Friday amid protest by Congress members over their demand for a JPC probe into the alleged scam in the Rafale jet deal.

Congress members were up on their feet since the start of the day in the Rajya Sabha creating uproar over the Rafale issue.

Deputy Chairman Harivansh, who chaired his first session on Friday, kept appealing to agitating members to allow the Zero Hour to function where other members were seeking to raise matters of public importance.

Though the Zero Hour continued amid the din, Congress members raised their pitch and some other opposition members entered the well to raise their issues.

The Deputy Chairman then adjourned the House a few minutes before the Zero hour was to end.

When the House met for the Question Hour at noon, Congress members again raised their demand with several of them raising slogans standing in the aisles.

Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu then adjourned the House till noon.

Earlier, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad alleged that the Rafale deal was a “big scam” and there should be a JPC probe into it.

Congress Deputy leader Anand Sharma said whenever such issues have been released earlier during previous Congress rules, a JPC probe was ordered and reiterated his party’s demand.

Meanwhile, Derek O’Brien (TMC) raised a point of order saying legislative business should not be taken on a day when private members’ bill are listed.

“I can make a better Rafale (fighter aircraft), please give me the contract.”

This caustic remark attacking the BJP-led government was made in the Lok Sabha by Congress MP Sunil (rpt Sunil) Jakhar on Friday, before his party members staged a walkout after a noisy protest demanding the setting up of a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) to probe an alleged scam in the Rafale fighter jet deal.

Jakhar also waived a paper replica of the fighter aircraft during the Zero Hour as Congress members were in the Well raising slogans on the issue.

Leader of the Congress in the House Mallikarjun Kharge also alleged that the deal was a scam “worth thousands of crore.”

“Madam, I want permission to present the replica of the Rafale on the table of the House. Please permit that. I can make a better Rafale than (an industrialist) who has no experience in manufacturing one,” Jakhar said.

“I have been practising it since last night,” the Congress MP added, flaunting the paper replica of aircraft. Congress members had earlier trooped into the Well raising slogans alleging corruption in the Rafale jet deal. They were holding placards which read ‘Modi’s Rafale Gate’ and set up ‘JPC set up karo’.

Kharge also said that there was no quorum which was against the values of the House. “We are walking out,” he said. He then led the Congress members to stage a walkout.

To this, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel said it was agreed in the meeting of the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) that legislative business would be taken up as the House was adjourned as mark of respect to DMK leader late Karunanidhi for a day.

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