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AgustaWestland Chopper Scam: Congress gives privilege notice against PM Narendra Modi

News Agencies | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:50 IST

Congress MP Shantaram Naik today gave notice of breach of privilege against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikkar to Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari on a day Congress created a ruckus in Parliament against Modi's comments in an election rally against Sonia Gandhi on the VVIP chopper deal.

Giving a notice under Rule 187 and 188 of the Rules of Procedures and Conduct of Business in the Council of States, Naik said that the Prime Minister has made a "wild charge" against UPA leaders alleging that they had taken money in the purchase of helicopters.

Addressing an election rally in Thiruvananthapuram, Modi had said,"Madam Soniaji, Aap ki Ye himmat. You and Congress leaders are making statements that false allegations are being made against you. Did Modi or Modi government in the last two years even once take the name of Congress in the helicopter deal? We have never used any name even once. Investigation agencies were doing their jobs. Nobody in India gave the name. The name has come from Italy."

Latching on to it, Naik said that according to Modi it is not his government that has named UPA leaders but it is a court in Italy which has done so.

The Congress leader said that even though Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar read out a long statement in the Rajya Sabha on 5 May, he did not say that the UPA leaders had taken money in purchase of helicopter nor did he say the court in Italy has done so.

"It is, therefore, clear that the Prime Minister has contradicted the Defence Minister. If the Defence Minister had any proof that UPA leaders had taken money in helicopter deal, why is it that the Defence Minister did not make any statement to that effect in the House. Was he trying and to misguide the House by reading out a long prepared statement making wild charges to be used by PM during his election rally? Naik asked.

"Defence minister has, therefore, committed a breach of privilege of the House and of the members since his statement differs from that of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister has behaved most irresponsibly and misused his position to issue defamatory statement on helicopter deal insulting the institution of Parliament," he said.

Naik requested the Rajya Sabha Chairman that his notice be admitted and it should be referred to the Privilege Committee for appropriate action against the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister.


First published: 9 May 2016, 8:53 IST