Party leaders rush to Well of House after Speaker refuses to let Kharge speak.
New Delhi: After constant sloganeering and rushing to the Well of the House by its legislators, the main Opposition Congress staged a walkout from Lok Sabha after its demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe in the controversial Rafale deal was rejected.
During the Zero Hour, leader of the Congress in the Lower House Mallikarjun Kharge tried to speak but Speaker Sumitra Mahajan did not allow him to do so and continued with the business of the House.
At this, a visibly upset Mr Kharge asked loudly, “What is this? We want JPC”.
The Speaker said she was not saying no to anyone. “I will allow you to speak when the time will come. Now sit down. You have shouted a lot. Give your throat some rest,” she said.
With this, Mr Kharge sat down but said, “If you don’t allow us to speak, why should we be here.”
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, who was sitting next to Mr Kharge, nodded in support.
Mr Kharge soon nudged other Congress MPs to restart the protests and they immediately trooped into the Well, carrying placards and shouting slogans seeking JPC on the Rafale deal.
Alleging corruption, he said a JPC probe was needed to probe the deal.
He also demanded discussion on the issue to which the Speaker said a debate had already taken place in the House.
Mr Kharge said the CAG report on defence was tabled before the Rajya Sabha and was “leaked”. He said the report was not tabled before Lok Sabha.
Ms Mahajan said the reports were tabled before the Lok Sabha, in an apparent reference to P. Radhakrishnan tabling three CAG reports, including one on defence services.
Intervening, home minister Rajnath Singh said the issue of Rafale has been discussed in the House and even the Supreme Court had given its judgment on it.
“The PM is scared of JPC. Since you are not heeding to the demand of JPC, we are staging a walkout,” Mr Kharge said. Earlier the proceedings of Lok Sabha were adjourned for nearly 20 minutes.