Swamy's remarks cause uproar in Rajya Sabha

The Defence Ministry on Thursday vowed to leave no stone unturned in pursuing all means to bring to justice the “corrupt” and the “wrong-doers” in the AgustaWestland chopper case.

Refuting Congress party claims that the Anglo-Italian helicopter-maker was blacklisted by the UPA government, the Ministry said it was the NDA which put on hold prospective deals of six companies involved in the scam.

The CBI and Enforcement Directorate were vigorously pursuing all aspects of the investigation, including the arrest and extradition of three alleged middlemen of the deal — Carlo Gerosa, Guido Haschke Ralph and Christian Michel James, a Ministry statement said.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar is expected to make a statement on the issue next Wednesday.

Pursuing the aggressive line taken by the party, BJP president Amit Shah demanded that Congress president Sonia Gandhi disclose who the “bribe takers” were in the UPA deal, for which an Italian court had punished the “bribe givers.”

The Rajya Sabha witnessed an uproar over some remarks of BJP MP Subramanian Swamy that were expunged.

When Dr. Swamy mentioned the Constitution of another country in the Raya Sabha on Thursday, Congress leaders trooped into the well of the House and Deputy Chairman of the House P.J. Kurien expunged the remarks.

However, Dr. Swamy again repeated what he had said, to which Mr. Kurien wondered why he was “provoking” the House.

‘Bid to subvert Zero Hour’

He added that this was a deliberate attempt to subvert the Zero Hour.

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad attacked Dr. Swamy, saying: “The problem is this new gift of the BJP.”

“It is only his second day in the Rajya Sabha. In two days, you have expunged twice. Since there are 365 days, how many times are you going to expunge his words?” Mr. Azad said.

BJP’s dilemma

Dr. Swamy’s moving a notice for discussion on the VVIP chopper deal under rule 167, a provision that mandates voting at the end of the discussion, is a double-edged sword for the government in a House where it is in a minority. While the numbers position in the Upper House is tricky for the Treasury benches, the BJP is hoping that Opposition unity could be broken on the issue of corruption.

( With agency inputs)

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 8:42:18 PM |

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