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Uproar in Rajya Sabha over AugustaWestland issue; Congress MPs storm into well

NEW DELHI: The second half of the Budget session of Parliament on Wednesday began on a stormy note, with Congress members in Rajya Sabha storming the house.

Citing a report published in a leading daily, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “Would like to know whether a meeting took place between two PMs as cited in a newspaper, was a deal struck?”

However, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley termed the report false, saying, “Reports that Prime Ministers of India and Italy met are completely false.”

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy, who was nominated as a Rajya Sabha member on Tuesday, will raise the AgustaWestland row in the Upper House, while party MP Meenakshi Lekhi will raise the issue in the Lok Sabha.

AgustaWestland’s Rs 3,600 crore contract for supplying 12 VVIP choppers to the Indian Air Force had been scrapped by the Indian Government over charges of paying kickbacks to Indian agents.

In January 2013, India cancelled the deal and the CBI was assigned to investigate whether kickbacks were paid to Indian officials.

Meanwhile, in the wake of frequent disruptions in Rajya Sabha, government expressed readiness to discuss all issues, including the use of Article 356, and appealed to Opposition parties to allow Parliament to function.

(With ANI-PTI inputs)

11:35 AM
Rajya Sabha adjourns again till noon as Cong uproar continues over Swamy’s remarks.

11:31 AM
Uproar in Rajya Sabha by Congress, house adjourned till 11:35 am.

11:27 AM
Uproar in Rajya Sabha as BJP leader Subramanian Swamy takes Sonia Gandhi’s name during discussion on AgustaWestland chopper deal.
Congress MPs enter the well of Rajya Sabha.
10:47 AM
We are ready to discuss #AugustaWestland issue in Parliament: Mallikarjun Kharge,Congress

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