Thursday, April 26, 2012

Repeated adjournments in RS after uproar over Bofors issue

Opposition on Thursday raked up the Bofors issue in the Rajya Sabha alleging "cover up" in probe and "burial" of the case leading to acrimonious exchanges with the ruling alliance culminating in repeated adjournments.

The House was adjourned thrice in the pre-lunch sitting over former Swedish police chief's allegation that payoffs were made in purchase of Bofors guns during the tenure of then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley said, "There were repeated efforts to cover up. The pace of investigation varied with the colour of the political government in power...we gave a whole burial to the case."
"....the fact is clear. Somebody got the contract and somebody got the kickback....this man (Ottavio Quattrocchi) is so powerful. Entire Indian state appeared so helpless....this is a textbook illustration of fraud," he said.
As Mani Shankar Aiyar (Cong) rose on behalf of the treasury benches to counter the allegations of Jaitely, Opposition members shouted him into silence asking why he is being allowed to speak when only leaders of parties in the House have been permitted to raise the matter.
Through a point of order, Najma Heptulla (BJP) demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is Leader of the Rajya Sabha, should be present if the House wanted a discussion.
Naresh Agrawal (SP) also raised objections to the Chair allowing Aiyar to speak on the issue saying this amounted to partiality and demanded everybody should be given opportunity to speak.
Noting that Jaitley has bemoaned the fact that unsuccessful efforts were being made to unearth the truth, Aiyar pointedly said, "The reason why we could not unearth the truth is because the pursuit of truth began with a series of untruths."

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