(IANS) The Rajya Sabha was disrupted on Monday after the Congress raised the issue of alleged mismanagement in the Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) and the BJP termed this an attempt to divert attention from the AgustaWestland issue, leading to a brief adjournment.
The Bharatiya Janata Party said the AgustaWestland issue will be taken up for discussion on Wednesday, adding that Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will clarify issues.
Congress members raised the issue as soon as the house met. Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien said the notice given by the Congress on the issue was under consideration of Chairman M. Hamid Ansari.
Trinamool Congress member Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, however, raised the AgustaWestland issue and questioned who the bribe taker was.
“Defence minister needs to give a statement on who took bribe in AgustaWestland deal,” Roy said, urging Parrikar, who was present in the house, to speak on the issue.
The Congress, however, trooped near the chairman’s podium and started shouting slogans demanding a debate on the GSPC.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the issue could not be discussed in the upper house as it was a state issue.
“PAC (public accounts committee) is examining the (CAG) report (on GSPC). We cannot discuss the PAC of the assembly here, that is the rule and tradition,” he said.
“This is a diversionary tactic, to take away attention from AgustaWestland and create ruckus through such non issues,” said the minister.
Kurien also asked the Congress members to go back to their seats as the notice given by them was under consideration of the chairman.
“The notice under consideration of the chairman. After that, coming to the well and shouting is not acceptable. What are you going to achieve? I don’t agree with this,” Kurien said before adjourning the house till 11.30 a.m.
At 11.30 a.m., the scene remained the same.
As Congress members continued raising slogans, Naqvi said the AgustaWestland issue will be taken up on Wednesday.
“We agree with what Sukhendu ji is saying. We will discuss AgustaWestland on Wednesday,” Naqvi said.
“Congress should do its homework because diversionary tactics will not work,” he said.
Congress members continued raising slogans demanding clarification from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the house was adjourned till 12 noon.
When the Rajya Sabha met for the question hour, the protests continued, and within minutes the house was adjourned for half an hour, till 12.32 p.m.