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March 2019
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Soldier killed as Pak army violates ceasefire along LoC in Rajouri        SAFF Women C''ship: Indian women thrash Bangladesh 4-0, will face Nepal in finals        Theresa May seeks Brexit Day delay, EU demands new vote        Nirav Modi arrested in UK; court remands him in custody till March 29        Mayawati won''t contest LS polls, but says still possible to become PM        Samjhauta blast case: Swami Aseemanand, 3 others acquitted        Not playing is not the solution: Ganguly on workload management        IPL schedule: KKR gets relief, to play all home matches at Eden        Rupee pauses after 6-day rally, slips 43 paise against US dollar        Jaitley dubs '108 purported economists' as compulsive contrarians        Sack 3 ministers in Imran Khan's govt for supporting banned outfits: Bilawal        Pak court mulls options for recording Musharraf's statement in treason case        HC takes note of 'dearth' of special education teachers in Delhi schools        Cong-JDS to campaign jointly, vow to reduce BJP to single        Mamata lashes out at BJP for questioning her religion        Jet pilots threaten to stop flying from Apr 1, set Mar 31 deadline on bailout, salaries        Congress will restore special category status to Arunachal and other NE states: Rahul        We think about the future: Sasi Tharoor        No riots in UP since BJP came to power: Adityanath        Congress finally picks Muraleedharan for Vadakara        
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Kerala News
Paper Planes In Parliament, Rahul Gandhi-Arun Jaitley Clash Over Rafale
 
(NEW DELHI, Jan03, 2019): In an acrimonious debate in parliament today, Rahul Gandhi accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of "hiding in his room" and "lacking the guts" to face questions on the Rafale jet deal before being targeted in a lacerating rejoinder by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for what he called "repeated lies".
Paper planes flown by opposition members made an unprecedented sight in the house.

Rahul Gandhi put up "four questions" related to the Rafale deal for 36 jet fighters, repeating his allegations that the government settled for a less-than-favourable deal to help industrialist Anil Ambani. "Yesterday, the PM seemed scared and tired in his interview. He said no one was questioning him on the Rafale deal. The whole country is questioning you," said the Congress president, demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee to investigate the Rafale deal.

Mr Gandhi also asked to be allowed to play an audio tape on Rafale that his party claims is the recording of a Goa minister quoting Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, earlier union defence minister, as saying that files related to the Rafale jet deal were "in his bedroom". But when the Speaker repeatedly asked whether he was ready to authenticate the tape and Mr Jaitley objected, Mr Gandhi said, "I understand that you are terrified, I will not play the tape, if it makes you happy."

When the Speaker asked him not to name Anil Ambani, a non-MP, Mr Gandhi slyly referred to the businessman as "AA".

Mr Jaitley, on whose challenge the Congress agreed to today's debate in parliament, delivered a ferocious comeback. "This man lies repeatedly... There are some people who have a natural dislike for truth. This is a case where there is a dislike for truth," he said.

"It is a tragedy for the country that the Grand Old Party is headed today by a gentleman who doesn't have the understanding of what a combat aircraft is," said the minister in a no-holds-barred attack.


Referring to the Supreme Court's judgment last month that came as a validation for the government's decision on the deal, he said if the top court is satisfied, why would a joint parliamentary committee, which is divided on party lines, review it.

Raising the AgustaWestland deal, the National Herald and the Bofors cases, the finance minister, borrowing a quote from the James Bond movies, said: "If it happens once, it's happenstance; if it happens twice, it's a coincidence; but if it happens thrice, then it's a conspiracy."

Referring to Mr Gandhi's "AA" digs, Mr Jaitley said: "If we are into abbreviations, can I ask, was he playing in the lap of one Q, about who in the Bofors case, the CEO had in his diary written - Q must be protected at all accounts."

While his speech was on, opposition members started flying paper planes, pushing the Speaker to admonish them for "childish behaviour" and forcing an adjournment.

Congress member Gurjeet Singh Aujla told reporters: "We threw the paper planes as the discussion was on Rafale. So talk about Rafale. But they were talking about Bofors, Agusta..."


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