The Congress on Monday disrupted the functioning of both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, decrying Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks that the party's president Sonia Gandhi was named by an Italian court in the AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter scam. Modi had made the comments at an election rally in Trivandrum on Sunday. Both leaders are currently in Kerala campaigning for the upcoming state elections.
Continued sloganeering by Congress leaders lead to the Rajya Sabha being adjourned four times in the first two hours. Their persistent demand for an apology from the prime minister forced Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha PJ Kurien to adjourn the proceedings of the House twice during Zero Hour. “Narendra Modi maafi mange. ‘Feku’ Mama maafi maange [Narendra Modi should apologise. The liar should apologise],” were among the slogans raised by party members, PTI reported.
In the Lower House, the Opposition party demanded to know which court Modi was referring to, adding that his comments could influence the Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate’s probe into the Rs 3,600-crore scam. Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the party may be forced to move a privilege motion against Modi.
While another party leader, Anand Sharma, demanded that the prime minister submit evidence in the House to support his statement, the Rajya Sabha deputy chairman noted that Modi made the comments outside the House and that the Congress can respond outside Parliament, as well. “The Chair cannot take cognisance of it,” Kurien said. Congress leaders resorted to sloganeering in the Well after Kurien dismissed Sharma’s notice under rule 267 to suspend business to discuss the matter.