The government and the opposition locked horns in and outside Parliament over a host of issues including the Rafale deal, Ram Janambhoomi, Triple Talaq, 1984 anti-Sikh riots and other contentious issues, causing the Rajya Sabha to be adjourned for the whole day while the Lok Sabha saw two adjournments amidst noisy scenes.
In the Lok Sabha was on Monday adjourned, the opposition created ruckus seeking a JPC probe into Rafale fighter jet deal. The Congress members were seen sloganeering against the government for misleading the Supreme Court on the Rafale deal. They showed a placard which read the “government which lies to the Supreme Court has no right to continue”.
They were countered by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who demanded an apology from Congress President Rahul Gandhi as the apex court has given a clean chit to the government in the case. The BJP members also held up a printed placard mentioning “Congress party is a liar, Rahul Gandhi should apologise”.
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan urged the agitating members to allow the Zero Hour to progress but the members continued with their protests.
Amid the din, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad introduced The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018, commonly known as Triple Talaq Bill, despite opposition from Congress member Shashi Tharoor who said the Bill was based on the ground of a specific religion and it was “violation of Section 14 and 21 of the Constitution”.
Amid the din, the Shiromani Akali Dal’s Prem Singh Chandu Majra raked up the High Court judgment against Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots while the BJP’s Ganesh Singh demanded early construction of a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya.
Meanwhile Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman issued a clarification on the affidavit submitted by the Centre in the Supreme Court seeking factual correction on the Rafale deal verdict. The Minister said the government has given the fresh data and information to the Supreme Court as there was an interpretation problem with the verdict on Rafale deal. The government will wait for the apex court to take a call on the fresh application, she said, adding that the government explained the process to the top court through which information comes to Parliament. She further contended that there is no need for Joint Parliamentary Committee to probe the Rafale deal as the matter had been already looked into by the Supreme Court. She further cited how a JPC on Bofors ended up converting kickbacks into winding up charges.
Sitharaman was among the many leaders that the BJP fielded to address 70 press conferences across the country to with the aim of “exposing the Congress lies on Rafale deal”. The Congress has demanded JPC probe into the million dollar Rafale deal saying that the Supreme Court was not the right forum to discuss the modalities on Rafale deal.
Among other leaders addressing the pressers today are Chief Ministers Yogi Adityanath, Devendra Fadanavis, Vijay Rupani, Sarbananda Sonowal, Union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Prakash Javadekar, J P Nadda, Smriti Irani, Suresh Prabhu, former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and party’s organisational leaders.
—India Legal Bureau