AgustaWestland scam: Swamy names Sonia Gandhi, uproar in Rajya Sabha

New Delhi, April 27 (IANS) The Rajya Sabha witnessed an uproar on Wednesday as BJP leader Subramanian Swamy named Congress President Sonia Gandhi in the AgustaWestland scam, prompting Congress members to urge the chair to expunge the name.

Swamy had barely raised the issue in the house when protests erupted, as he named the Congress leader.

“It is touching to see leader of opposition relying on Mr. (Christian) Michel for what he said orally but the high court of Italy have recorded a letter written by Mr. Michel stating that Sonia Gandhi is the main…,” Swamy said, prompting a massive uproar from the Congress.

Congress members were immediately on their feet, and started protesting. A member called Swamy a “CIA agent”.

The Congress members first trooped near the chairman’s podium, and then, making agressive gestures towards the treasury benches, they moved towards them.

Ruling party members were also seen standing at their seats.

In the din, the house was adjourned for 10 minutes.

When the house reassembled, Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien said Swamy should not name a member from the other house and expunged the name from the records.

“You know that the name of member of the other house should not be taken here. A member’s name who cannot come and defend here should not be taken,” he said.

Even as the deputy chairman asked Swamy to continue, Congress members kept creating a ruckus.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Abbas Naqvi said it is a violation of the member’s rights.

Congress members trooped near the chairman’s podium raising slogans, after which the house was adjourned till 12 noon.

When the house met for the Question Hour, Swamy raised the issue with Rajya Sabha Chairman and Vice President Hamid Ansari and said he was not allowed to speak.

Ansari, however, said he cannot speak on the issue during the Question Hour.

Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said he cannot speak unless he withdraws his comment.

A Congress member meanwhile shouted, calling Swamy a “CIA agent”, and asking him to sit.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi accused the opposition members of “threatening” the member.

“It is not right for a member to threaten another member,” he said.



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