Rajya Sabha to discuss chopper deal tomorrow

Chopper deal
The AgustaWestland chopper deal had its echo in the Rajya Sabha today with BJP demanding a discussion on the issue and government agreeing to have it tomorrow.

"We are ready for a discussion on the issue tomorrow," Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla said after BJP insisted on an immediate discussion on the issue. Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Prakash Javadekar (BJP) said, "The whole nation is being robbed. Everyday we are reading such stories. There are reports that kickbacks to the tune of Rs 400 crore were paid It's a shame. It is a question of nation's pride."

Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley said the government should agree to a debate on a particular day, preferably tomorrow on the issue, after which Shukla said the Defence Minister wanted some more time as more details on the issue were awaited and suggested a discussion by next week.

As BJP members including Venkaiah Naidu, Najma Heptulla and Ravi Shankar Prasad disagreed and were up on their feet demanding immediate discussion on the chopper deal and Defence Minister A K Antony's response on it, Shukla said a debate on farmers problems was slated for tomorrow on Naidu's demand and if he agreed to change it government can discuss the chopper deal tomorrow itself.E M S Natchiappan, who was in the chair, told members that there were other issues mentioned during Zero Hour, on which the members insisted Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajiv Shukla to respond.

"Government is ready to have a discussion on it at anypoint of time. I had discussed the issue with the Defence Minister, he is ready for it next week. In case the members want to take up the issue tomorrow, we are ready," Shukla said On this, Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "We want proper answers tomorrow."

SP members also rose on their feet with Naresh Agarwal saying that they had given a notice for taking up the issue of price rise soon after the Question Hour.

"The price rise issue has not been taken up for discussion despite notice which amounts breaking of the rules and as a protest we are walking out from the House," Agarwal said and staged a walk out with SP members despite Natchiappan saying that the issue too would be taken up.

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