NEW DELHI: The Congress and the BJP were on Friday locked in a war of privilege motions in the Rajya Sabha even as the debate over the VVIP chopper scam intensified. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy moved a privilege motion against Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad for allegedly ‘lying’ in the House that the UPA government had blacklisted AgustaWestland and its parent company Finmeccanica.
Swamy, who faced the ire of Azad on Thursday, drew the attention of Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien to his notice during the Zero Hour. “If you have given a privilege notice, it is under consideration of the Chairman. He will first examine it,” Kurien replied. Earlier in the morning, Swamy had tweeted that he would raise the breach of privilege issue in the House. Later on, he also tweeted that the Rajya Sabha Chairman had assured him of a hearing in his chambers on the ‘illegality’ of Kurien’s decision to expunge some of his remarks made in the House. And rather ominously for the Congress, he further tweeted, “Major revelation on AW scam soon. Will change politics by 2017.”
In retaliation, the Congress, which is getting battered over the scam, threatened to move a privilege motion against Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar for speaking outside Parliament when the House was regurgitating over the deal-making. Azad said he had asked for the exact statement of the Defence Minister put up on the ministry’s website, along with the ministry’s response on the matter.
“Whether it is the ministry or the Defence Minister, how are statements being made outside, when Parliament is in session and is seized of the matter?” he asked. On Swamy’s privilege motion, he said generally breach of privilege is moved against ministers if they mislead despite having all the information. The Congress leaders also accused the government of ‘selectively leaking’ sensitive documents to a ‘particular TV channel’ and wondered why it was doing so against norms.
Dispute over blacklisting firm
New Delhi: The Congress has been upset over the dispute raised by Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on whether it was AK Antony, during the UPA regime, or the present NDA government which had actually blacklisted Finmeccanica. Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi claimed, “half truth is worse than untruth.”