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Sunday 7 June 2020

Opposition stages walkout of LS after PM’s address

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New Delhi: Opposition members, including those from the Congress, Trinamool Congress, and the Left, today staged a walk out of the Lok Sabha saying none of their questions ranging from Rafale deal to the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, have been answered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The members walked out soon after Modi completed his 90- minute speech replying to the debate on the motion of thanks for the President’s address in the House.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi today accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of protecting those behind alleged corruption in the Rafale deal and said he needs to answer the country on questions posed to him on it and on farmers and jobs instead of making allegations in Parliament.

Rahul Gandhi made the accusation while reacting to Modi’s speech in the Lok Sabha, which, he dubbed as a “political and campaign speech”.

Echoing Rahul Gandhi’s views, Congress Parliamentary Party leader Sonia Gandhi asserted that the prime minister has said nothing new and he is repeating old things.

“People are interested about their jobs, they want to know about their future,” she said after Modi’s reply to the debate in the Lok Sabha on the motion of thanks on the president’s address.

Alleging that something wrong has happened in the Rafale jet deal with France, the Congress chief noted that the country has to understand that the prime minister talked about corruption and had said he will launch an attack on it.

“But in the Rafale deal, there has been corruption and the prime minister is protecting those who have done corruption,” Rahul Gandhi alleged without elaborating.

The Congress chief said there are three-four issues before the country – what future do farmers have, how to provide employment to youth and whether there was a scam in the Rafale deal.

“We had three clear questions – You changed the contract in Paris, did you ask the Cabinet Committee on security and what price have you paid for the aircraft,” he said.

Rahul Gandhi noted that it is for the first time that the defence minister is saying “we will not tell the country”.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said, “the prime minister might be a terrific orator but this speech was a ‘farrago’ of misrepresentations and half-truth”. He said there are many examples in this regard.

“As none of the questions raised by us have been answered by the PM, we are walking out,” TMC leader Kalyan Banerjee said in the House, as the opposition MPs trooped out.

Congress MP Rajeev Satav also said, “we staged a walkout because the prime minister did not respond to any of our questions.”

Earlier, slogan-shouting members of the Congress and Left were in the Well protesting with placards almost throughout the speech of the Prime Minister.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi were present in the House and in their seats.

The members raised slogans asking the government to come clean on the pricing of the Rafale deal and demanding a separate railway zone for Andhra Pradesh and funding of the Polavaram project.

PTI

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