Owing to the disruption caused, Lok Sabha has been adjourned till 5 March at 11 am. Following similar protests in the Upper House, Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 2.30 pm on Friday.
The Parliament on Friday will hold the last session in the first leg of the Budget Session. Following a recess after the first leg, between 29 January and 9 February, the Parliament will meet again from 5 March to 6 April.
It was a stormy day in both the Houses on Thursday with Telugu Desam Party (TPD), YSR Congress MPs protesting in the Lok Sabha over budgetary allocation to Andhra Pradesh. Rajya Sabha was adjourned several times during the day as members from both the ruling party and Opposition sought to disrupt the House.
The Congress in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday raised questions about key budgetary proposals like for the proposed health insurance scheme and setting MSP at 50 percent above the cost, terming them as "jumlas" and also claimed the Centre was exaggerating data related to job creation.
Representational image. PTI
The Upper House which decided to sit till late to debate the Union budget also saw repeated adjournments post 7 pm following heated arguments between treasury benches and Opposition, and protests by TDP members.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi also continued his attack on the government over the Rafale aircraft deal and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not answering his questions because there was something "fishy" about it.
Referring to Modi's speeches in Parliament on Wednesday, he told reporters it was clear that the prime minister was not interested in answering "fundamental questions".
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, he said, had first announced that she would inform the nation about the cost of purchasing Rafale aircraft but was now saying she could not do so as it was a state secret.
"Which of her two statements is correct," he asked. Later in a tweet, Gandhi wondered why she had "changed" her stand. Was it to hide corruption or was it a bid to protect the prime minister or "Modiji's friend", he asked.
Sitharaman told Parliament on Monday that the details of the deal with France for the Rafale fighter jets cannot be disclosed as per the inter-governmental agreement as it is "classified information".
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also hit back at the Congress over the Rafale deal, accusing it of "seriously compromising" the country's security by seeking details of armaments purchased along with the aircraft.
He also advised Congress chief Rahul Gandhi to "learn" from former defence minister Pranab Mukherjee "lessons on national security."
"Your party was stigmatised when you were in government because of allegations of corruption. Now the new act is, let us manufacture an allegation of corruption against the NDA. So when you couldn't find anything, you said please disclose the price of the Rafale deal," Jaitley said while replying to the debate on the budget.
"I charge the Congress of seriously compromising India's security...Mr Modi has run a clean government for last 4 years, so let us manufacturer a crisis, let us manufacture an issue...And the manufactured issue is, please tell me the details of the Rafale deal," the finance minister said in the Lok Sabha referring to the demands by the Congress to make public details of the government-to-government deal to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.
Earlier, replying to Congress charges over Rafale during the Budget debate, Jaitley had said the Congress was trying to manufacture a scam in Rafale fighter jet purchase because it had not been able to find any corruption case in the Narendra Modi government's tenure so far.
He also quoted a number of written replies in Parliament by ministers from the then UPA governments including Pranab Mukherjee and AK Antony, wherein they had refused to quote the price in defence deals citing security concerns.
"Break-up of cost will tell what weapon systems are there in the deal. These security pacts are inherent part of these defence contracts," he said. "They're compromising national security by asking for details which should not be made public, by which I mean known to the enemy," Jaitley added.
With inputs from agencies
Published Date: Feb 09, 2018 12:30 PM
| Updated Date: Feb 09, 2018 13:02 PM