High drama was witnessed in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi launching a tirade on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale deal and alleging he did not have the “guts” to face Parliament and “was hiding in his room”.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley hit back to accuse Gandhi of having a “legacy of lying” and “repeating falsehood” and alleged that “conspirators” of past defence scams are now raising fingers at others.
Gandhi cited a purported audio tape of a Goa minister on the Rafale deal which he refused to authenticate, but sought a JPC probe into the issue.
The Congress leader was disallowed from playing the purported audio tape by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, after Jaitley objected to the same unless Gandhi authenticated it and faced expulsion in case it is found to be false and fabricated.
“Why did you give this contract to your dear friend Mr AA and cost the exchequer Rs 30,000 crore….”It is very clear that the prime minister does not have the guts to come to Parliament and confront questions. The defence minister hides behind AIADMK members, the prime minister hides in his room,” Gandhi alleged in the Lok Sabha.
Jaitley hit back alleging that “conspirators” of past defence scams are now raising fingers at the Narendra Modi government and quoted the Supreme Court judgement to say that all charges have been negated.
Earlier Gandhi said: “We demand a JPC in this matter. I tell the BJP leaders that there is nothing to worry. The truth will come out. The country will know that Narendra Modi, on whom they relied, will know that he bypassed the entire procedure and gave Rs 30,000 crore to AA.
“The PM should come to the House and give answers…the entire country is pointing out at you Mr Modi,” Gandhi said.
In the turmoil during a event that made Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Wednesday lost her cool when Congress MPs threw paper planes at Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during the Rafale debate.
Mahajan was livid and asked why did Congress demand for a discussion if they are interested in creating ruckus. She also said, ” Haven’t you flown paper plane as kids? Then why are you doing it now?”. Jaitey then made a quip that probably Congress MPs are flying paper planes in the memory of Eurofighters. Incidentally Eurofighter was a company which was in contention to get the defence deal which ultimately went to Dassault Aviation,
Later speaking to media , Congress MP Gurjeet Singh Aujla defended throwing paper planes saying, ” We threw the paper planes (in Lok Sabha during FM Arun Jaitley’s statement) as the discussion was on Rafale, so talk about Rafale, but they were talking about Bofors, Agusta Westland and National Herald. We want a JPC on this issue”.