Home Minister Rajnath Singh today turned down allegation of corruption in the Rafale aircraft deal asserting that repeating a lie will not make it truth. He was responding to Congress charges on the issue during Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha. Mr. Singh said the government has been consistent in its stand that it is ready for a discussion on the issue. He wondered why the main opposition party is running away from discussion on the aircraft deal.
Earlier, Mallikarjun Kharge of Congress raised the issue declaring his party’s demand for Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the deal. He alleged that the deal is a big scam and cross-examined the government for not disclosing the price of the aircrafts. Mr. Kharge also claimed that the Rafale aircrafts have been purchased at a price three times higher than UPA government’s deal.
During Question Hour, the Lok Sabha witnessed a brief adjournment till noon as opposition members created heated controversy over several issues. PDP member Muzaffar H Baig said there has been a steep rise in killing of civilians in Jammu and Kashmir even as he acknowledged that security forces are working in a difficult environment.
Prem Singh Chandumajra (SAD) raised the issue of poor law and order in Punjab and referred to recent local polls where police, he alleged, was used to scare away voters.
Anurag Thakur (BJP) spoke about monkey and stray cattle menace in Himachal Pradesh and said they were harming crops.
Kaushalendra Kumar (JD-U) demanded that all people above the age of 60 should be given pension.
Rama Devi (BJP) raised the issue of dues of sugarcane farmers pending in her constituency, Sheohar, and sought steps to ensure farmers are paid their dues.
Nishikant Dubey (BJP) demanded Assam-like National Register of Citizens in Jharkhand as well, saying the presence of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants has impacted demographic balance in parts of the state.
Sharad Tripathi (BJP) demanded that a cancer treatment hospital be opened in Sant Kabir Nagar due to rising number of cancer cases.
As soon as the House met for the day, members from Congress trooped into the well demanding a JPC probe into the Rafale aircraft deal. The House also witnessed slogans and counter slogans between Congress and ruling BJP members.
More than 20 members from the Congress, the AIADMK and the TDP were in the Well during the Zero Hour. AIADMK MPs continued their run to counter proposed construction of a dam across River Cauvery. Telugu Desam Party (TDP) members demanded financial benefits for Andhra Pradesh.