The Congress on Tuesday said it had submitted a breach of privilege notice against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in the Rajya Sabha for allegedly lying on the AgustaWestland helicopter payoffs.
“I have given a notice of breach of privilege against the prime minister and the defence minister. They have spoken lies outside parliament. They said UPA leaders took money,” Congress leader Shantaram Naik said in the upper house.
Deputy chairman P.J. Kurien said he was expunging the remarks.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who is also the Leader of House, meanwhile, said comments made by one politician against another cannot be a breach of privilege.
“Election speech by one politician against other has started constituting a breach of privilege. One can do it for publicity,” he said.
Congress leader Anand Sharma said Modi should make responsible statements. “The prime minister remains prime minister, whether in the house or outside… He needs to be accountable for what he says.”
Jaitley replied saying there was no gag order. “Is the prime minister of India to be gagged from speaking on corruption,” he asked.
The Congress had on Monday stalled the Rajya Sabha proceedings, blaming the BJP for using AgustaWestland as an election issue.
Modi on Sunday targeted Sonia Gandhi over the helicopter deal at election rallies in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, saying it was not the Indian government but a court in Italy that had named the Congress chief.