Ramesh, Swamy clash in Rajya Sabha over AgustaWestland

New Delhi, May 9 (IANS) The Congress on Monday slammed BJP leader Subramanian Swamy for claiming that the documents on AgustaWestland deal that he tabled in Rajya Sabha were “approved” by the chair.


Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien said no documents had been authenticated.

“Dr. Swamy, who does not have the habit of speaking truth, says Rajya Sabha has approved his documents. How has Rajya Sabha approved it,” Congress member Jairam Ramesh asked

Ramesh was referring to a tweet by Swamy on Friday in which the BJP leader said: “Rajya Sabha has approved my documents. Jairam Ramesh run for cover.”

The documents were related to the speech Swamy made during the Rajya Sabha debate on AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal in which kickbacks were allegedly paid when Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was in office.

Congress members had then demanded that the documents quoted in the debate should be tabled in the house.

On Monday, Swamy took strong exception to Ramesh’s comments.

“I rise in protest against him saying I have a habit of telling lies,” said Swamy who became a member of the upper house on April 26 as one of the nominees of the BJP-led central government.

“When the chairman of the house has allowed me to place these on the table of the house, the proper procedure for him is to write a letter to the chairman,” Swamy said.

Launching a counter-attack on Ramesh, the BJP leader said: “Mr. Ramesh has the habit of putting his hand in the wrong place and getting it bit. Right now it is under bandage because of that.”

Deputy Chairman Kurien said the responsibility of authenticating the documents rests with Swamy and that the members of the house can examine them.

“Chair has not authenticated any paper,” Kurien said.

Swamy also reminded the chair that his privilege notice against Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad is pending with the chairman.

The BJP leader had on April 29 submitted a breach of privilege notice against Congress leader Azad for “lying” that the UPA government had blacklisted helicopter maker AgustaWestland and its Italian parent Finmeccanica.

Since becoming a member of the Rajya Sabha, Swamy has been attacking Congress on the AgustaWestland scandal. He also named Congress President Sonia Gandhi while raising the issue in the upper house.

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