Tribune News Service
New Delhi, February 11
As the last Parliament session of the Narendra Modi government draws to a close, the chances of contentious Bills such as citizenship amendment and triple talaq getting through are getting dim. Opposition leaders have already warned the government against trying to clear the contentious legislations, asking it to stick to “non-controversial” matters.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh would move the citizenship Bill in the Rajya Sabha tomorrow, provided the Opposition allows him to do so.
While sources claim there will be no extension of the session that ends on Wednesday, it seems the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on another issue — Rafale jet deal — could be tabled on Tuesday. It would give the government an opportunity to end the growing perception on the issue, which the Congress continued to raise even during a discussion on the interim Budget today.
Alleging corruption and impropriety, the Congress claimed PM Narendra Modi would have been “number one accused” in the Rafale deal had the Lokpal law been implemented. According to Congress leader Veerappa Moily, if anybody had to be held guilty in the deal, “it is the PM and PM alone”.
Trinamool leader Saugata Roy said the Rafale issue “exposed chinks” in government’s armour and proved it is “no longer incorruptible”.
Speaking during the debate, Moily said the defence budget saw only a “paltry increase” in absolute terms. “There is an enhanced allocation of 2 per cent from last year’s Budget on defence... This is a paltry increase. You know what is happening today in the defence sector. Rafale has become a household scandal. Day by day this deal is becoming murkier,” he said.
“We find today that the government waived anti-corruption clauses in Rafale deal.”
With CAG report likely to be tabled in the House, the Congress upped the ante, claiming CAG Rajiv Mehrishi was “ineligible” to conduct the Rafale audit due to conflict of interest since he was the Finance Secretary when the deal was announced.
‘Under Lokpal, PM would be No. 1 accused’
"Now it is crystal clear because if it (Lokpal) had been implemented, perhaps the present PM would have been the ‘number one accused’ in (Rafale) case. That is why he is afraid." — Veerappa Moily, Congress leader
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