Congress President Rahul Gandhi speaks in the Lok Sabha on the ‘no-confidence motion’ during the Monsoon Session of Parliament, in New Delhi on July 20, 2018. (Photograph: LSTV/PTI)

Four BJP MPs Submit Privilege Notice Against Rahul Gandhi

Four members of Parliament from the Bharatiya Janata Party have submitted a privilege notice against Congress President Rahul Gandhi, accusing him of “misleading” Parliament by making “false” allegations against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. BJP MPs Nishikant Dubey, Anurag Thakur Dushyant Singh, and Prahalad Joshi have given the notice to the Speaker.

According to the rules of the House, Gandhi should have given prior notice before making any allegations against any member. He should have given substantiating material to the Speaker, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar had said, adding that a notice for a privilege motion against Rahul Gandhi will be given for “falsehood and misleading” Parliament. While speaking in the Lok Sabha during the debate on the no-confidence motion against the government, Gandhi had alleged that Sitharaman had lied to the nation by claiming that India was bound by a secrecy clause in the Rafale fighter jet deal signed with France.

Gandhi said the French president had clearly conveyed to him that there was no problem in sharing details relating to the Rafale deal worth Rs 58,000 crore.

Alleging corruption in the deal, the Congress has been demanding details, including the cost of equipment and weapons, but the government has refused to share them citing the secrecy clause.

Countering his allegations, Sitharaman said all charges were “absolutely wrong” and added that the initial agreement for the deal which had the secrecy clause was signed when the UPA was in power in 2008.

BJP leaders said Gandhi’s accusations that Modi benefited one industrialist in the Rafale deal and ‘betrayed’ the Indian Army in Doklam were among several defamatory allegations by him against the prime minister. Their privilege motion against him would include these “unsubstantiated” charges.

The NDA government had signed a deal with France-based Dassault Aviation to purchase 36 Rafale jets.