Rajya Sabha Live: Retiring Lawmakers Give Farewell Speeches In Rajya Sabha

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will make a statement in Parliament today and has promised 'new revelations' in the AgustaWestland chopper deal. While, PM Modi met with top ministers including Manohar Parrikar and Rajnath Singh to discuss, Congress president Sonia Gandhi discussed a counter-offensive strategy with party leaders yesterday and has asked her lawmakers to 'articulate their views and present the party's case' in parliament.

May 13, 2016
15:36 (IST)
Rajya Sabha adjourns sine die.
May 13, 2016
12:05 (IST)
I appeal to all parties not to make Political differences into Personal differences: Anand Sharma in Rajya Sabha
May 13, 2016
11:43 (IST)
Our Parliament is great. There have been times where our thoughts did not match, but we have also seen times when we stood together. That is the beauty of Democracy, that is the beauty of our Parliament: Anand Sharma in Rajya Sabha
May 13, 2016
11:34 (IST)
Anand Sharma speaking in Rajya Sabha.

May 13, 2016
11:18 (IST)

May 13, 2016
11:18 (IST)
May 13, 2016
11:18 (IST)
"For the betterment of our constituencies, states, and for the nation overall your experience is valued. You all have my best wishes for your efforts," says PM Narendra Modi in Rajya Sabha as he addresses 53 lawmakers who are retiring.
May 04, 2016
19:26 (IST)
Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha PJ Kurien informs the House that Chairman Hamid Ansari has accepted Vijay Mallya's resignation with effect from May 4.
May 04, 2016
19:24 (IST)
When they were in power, they ordered a CBI inquiry and now in our time, they want Supreme Court to monitor the CBI probe? What rule is this, asks BJP's Venkaiah Naidu
May 04, 2016
19:23 (IST)
I cannot divulge details of investigation. Everybody knows bribery was there. What needs to be known is where the money went: Manohar Parrikar
May 04, 2016
19:20 (IST)
Guilty should be named and action should be taken against them. Probe should be monitored by the Supreme Court, says BSP supremo Mayawati.

May 04, 2016
19:19 (IST)
You have spoken a lot. Now it is time to end this. You have everything. Act against those guilty now: Sharad Yadav, JD(U)

May 04, 2016
19:18 (IST)
I had thought that the party BJP and the government would have different stands. I thought the malicious campaign was that of the BJP. But the way the office bearers today spoke, it was even worse: Ghulam Nabi Azad
May 04, 2016
19:15 (IST)
  • The Italian court judgment has outlined the bribe paid to Indians in political establishment, bureaucracy and air force: Parrikar
  • The government will leave no stone unturned to bring those who have indulged in this corrupt act against our national interest
May 04, 2016
19:12 (IST)
Defence minister tells the members of the House that the CBI registered a FIR in 2013 but did not bother to forward copy to the Enforcement Directorate for 9 months. The Enforcement Directorate did not act on the FIR till July 3014.

"It seems an invisible hand was guiding the actions of CBI and ED," says Mr Parrikar

May 04, 2016
19:07 (IST)
  • Government of India, scared of taking action against the company, wrote a letter to the External Affairs Ministry, embassy and court: Manohar Parrikar
  • The contract was cancelled on January 1, 2014 and all bonds were forfeited

May 04, 2016
18:56 (IST)
  • There must be robust rationale for deviation from policy: Manohar Parrikar
  • The benchmark cost given by CNC was unreasonably high and had provided no realistic basis for price negotiations, says Mr Parrikar
May 04, 2016
18:46 (IST)
Country wants to know as to who instigated,supported and benefited from corruption, we can't let this pass, says Mr Parrikar.
May 04, 2016
18:39 (IST)

The technical evaluation committee shortlisted three vendors. The AW 101 was found to be competent: Manohar Parrikar

  • PMO in December 2003 observed that it was single-vendor situation
  • That there was corruption is brought out in detail by the Milan high court
  • The country wants to know who supported, who benefitted from the corruption
  • NSA chaired meeting in 2005. Operational requirements were finalised in 2005. Cabin height was decided to be 1.8 metres
May 04, 2016
18:36 (IST)
Congress starts protesting, there is disruption in the House as defence minister speaks.

What the Minister has said contradicts his statement in Parl, he is making a false statement, says Anand Sharma.
May 04, 2016
18:26 (IST)
Let me make it very clear. I will not take any names so that you don't get a reason to disturb: Manohar Parrikar

  • At the outset it may be useful to highlight to honourable members some of the salient issues. Creation of a single vendor scenario since 2005 onwards, SKURS reset and requirements changed.
  • The deal was cancelled by the government of India on advice of the Attorney General. The final order was given by the present government.
May 04, 2016
18:25 (IST)
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar stands up to speak on the chopper deal debate.
May 04, 2016
18:24 (IST)
  • Take action against the company who gave the money and whoever took it and immediately blacklist them. Do not involve them in Make In India projects.
  • My dear Subramanian Swamy, prosecute us if you have evidence but don't threaten: AK Antony
May 04, 2016
18:17 (IST)
  • We fought the case in Italy by engaging Italian lawyers, says former defence minister AK Antony.
  • Throughout the process of this case, the Defence Ministry has been prompt with reactions.
  • We made commitment that we are ready for a JPC.
  • In February 2014, we started the blacklisting process.
  • I would only ask two things - corruption in the deal is there beyond doubt - Italian court has admitted. Now you have to speed up the arbitration proceedings.

May 04, 2016
18:08 (IST)
  • The move to reduce the altitude was taken at that time by the government (in 2003) and cabin height was also revised at that time. The official MoD release said increasing cabin height was desirable: AK Antony
  • On Nov 19, 2003, a meeting took place and it was decided that the altitude will be brought down from 6,00 metres to 4,500 metres.
  • All these decisions in 2003 were taken by your government, Mr Antony tells BJP in the House.
May 04, 2016
18:02 (IST)
For the first time so many companies - six - were blacklisted together. Not just talking, we sent a message to the world - that India will not tolerate corruption, says AK Antony

  • This process started in 1999 when NDA was in power
  • Undisputed fact is a principal secretary observed that raising the height had reduced it to a single vendor. And also the PM and President rarely visited any place above 4,000 metres.
May 04, 2016
17:58 (IST)
Defence procurement created a lot of controversy. A government cannot appreciate a previous government but I can tell you sincerely our government had zero tolerance for corruption in defence: AK Antony

  • UPA made a conscious effort to eliminate corruption in defence procurement
  • We introduced DPP  - Defence Procurement Procedures. We also introduced pre-contract integrity pact.
May 04, 2016
17:57 (IST)
Former defence minster AK Antony is speaking.
May 04, 2016
17:51 (IST)
Like Sharadji said, public images are built over the years but one false accusation can ruin it. I did not leave my old mother in the village to come to Delhi and indulge i corruption. I have never attempted to cross the boundaries of propriety: Ahmed Patel

  • As far as the CAG report is concerned and especially in terms of defence, it must be followed very closely.
  • This judgment names me four times. I want to ask, does it ever indict me? Prove that and I vow to resign and leave politics.
  • If you can find an iota of truth, I will quit politics
May 04, 2016
17:50 (IST)
Ahmed Patel is responding to the debate on AgustaWestland case.
May 04, 2016
17:48 (IST)
  • All this uproar is based on a judgement of an Italian court: Sanjay Raut
  • This is not just a matter of political accusations. This is a question of the nation's stature.
  • What happened in the Bofors scam? It was proven who got money and who have money.
  • The government shouldn't waste much time and tear down everybody's masks
May 04, 2016
17:46 (IST)
Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut is now speaking on the Agusta case.
May 04, 2016
17:35 (IST)
  • Italy terminated the contract but the case was filed by Indian government in an Italian court. And we recovered around 2000 crore and 3 helicopters: Anand Sharma
  • Some agent names some person, does it make that person guilty, asks Anand Sharma
  • I reject with contempt the insinuations that have been made. The list is a long one if we start. Accusations and allegations have been there. Your government was there earlier. Accusations have been heard in an irresponsible manner.
  • No evidence against Sonia Gandhi
May 04, 2016
17:33 (IST)
  • During investigation, letters rogatory have been sent to 8 countries. CBI's investigation depends upon these replies.
  • The statement by Ministry of Defence said- MoD terminated the contract wef Jan 1, 2014 on the grounds of breach of the pre-contract agreements and the terms of the contract by Ms/s Agusta Westland.
May 04, 2016
17:24 (IST)
  • Let me clear that trial of any platform should be conducted within the country. For trials to be conducted outside the country, from 1999-2004, NDA's own policy said field evaluation trial can be held abroad: Anand Sharma
  • Trial was conducted for both the helicopters
  • Field evaluation trial of M/s AgustaWestland was carried out in UK.
  • Field evaluation trial team submitted its report in April 2008 and recommended AW101. SPG was also a part of it.

May 04, 2016
17:18 (IST)
On 22 December, 2003, the principal secretary wrote to the Chief of Air Staff writing why the PMO and SPG were not consulted: Anand Sharma

  • The letter also gave a categorical direction to the defence secy to redraw the mandatory requirements to fast track the process of acquisition.
  • After the government changed, the new government had to take cognisance of what had been done over the last 5 years.
  • Nations are not governed with irresponsibility but with maturity, correctness and wisdom.
May 04, 2016
17:13 (IST)

  • A nominate member of the House has said three things in the House. It is necessary to respond to them: Anand Sharma
  • On the Italian court judgment - I say we are a sovereign nation, the government has to authenticate what is being said here. We will expose political agenda behind all of that.
  • The first issue that has been raised is about the process that has been started to purchase helicopters.
  • The process to purchase new helicopters started way back in 2002. That time there were four vendors.
May 04, 2016
17:10 (IST)
Congress' Anand Sharma is speaking in the House:
  • In the House, I say with great responsibility that what we have seen for the last few days inside and outside the Parliament is an effort to defame people, divert the attention from their failures.
  • It is true that this topic should be discussed
  • If we keep raising fingers on every procurement, then this will never end. We must talk on the basis of proof.
May 04, 2016
17:06 (IST)
  • Yes I will authenticate. I will conclude and then go down there and sign the document: Subramanian Swamy
  • Christian Michel was given 6 million euros to manage the media in India in favour of the deal. There I wanted the government to go into those question who those journalists are who have been first criticising and then praising.
May 04, 2016
17:01 (IST)
Ruckus in Parliament. PJ Kurien says nobody objected when Ghulam Nabi Azad was quoting the letter.
May 04, 2016
16:57 (IST)
I will now quote Christian Michel's letter: Subramanian Swamy
May 04, 2016
16:51 (IST)
Congress' Anand Sharma says all that has been said should be authenticated.

May 04, 2016
16:37 (IST)
  • They didn't use AW101 aircraft (which was bought) for field trials but used some other helicopter, which is fraud in its itself: Subramanian Swamy
  • Congress did not test the helicopter they bought
  • The original proposal was to but 8 helicopters but they decided to buy another four. The price that they agreed for was Rs 4788 cores. Air Force said 793 crores. From my personal knowledge I will say it was not Manmohan Singh.
  • Someone went over Mr Antony. From my personal knowledge I will say it was not Dr Manmohan Singh.
  • Second evidence prima facie is the hand-written note by Christian Michel.
  • There is also a hand written note on commission sharing by middlemen Haschke.

May 04, 2016
16:30 (IST)
  • Mr Swamy says the NDA raised a point that it had become a single vendor and more importantly the SPG was not consulted.
  • Additional parameters were added so that all helicopters were disqualified except which is the AgustaWestland - the cabin height requirement being one.
May 04, 2016
16:24 (IST)
The height requirement of 6,000 metres was so that it could avoid shoulder rocket. That's why Indian Air Force was of view that altitude was at least 6,000 metres, says Mr Swamy.

  • So who lowered it? It was Brijesh Mishra and he was given Padma Vibhushan - why I will find out one day.
  • AK Antony had said that it was reduced in 2006 after detailed discussions. So it is an admitted fact that this was done when the NDA was not in power.
  • So it is a lie to say it was the NDA government that reduced the height - terminological inexactitude to put it correctly.
May 04, 2016
16:20 (IST)
The investigation is in its early stages. There are some admitted facts which cannot be denied, says Subramanian Swamy.

  • The admitted facts are in response to Parliament questions, there is the CAG report in 2013, the Italian High Court judgement - these are admitted facts
  • Yes it is true the NDA had initiated the process to purchase 8 new helicopters to replace old ones. The objective was the ensure VVIPs can fly to Siachen or North East.

May 04, 2016
16:18 (IST)
I will begin  by point out that on one occasion last week you had expunged my statement in which I tried to quote the letter from Michel, says Mr Swamy.
May 04, 2016
16:17 (IST)
BJP's Subramanian Swamy counters Congress on Agusta case
May 04, 2016
16:16 (IST)
Every year our defence budget goes up. Yet we are lacking in modernisation and self-reliance, says CPI's D Raja

And every time we go for procurement we see scams. There was Bofors scam, charges of several irregularities when VK Singh was army chief

Two years have passed since you came to power. What is the progress made by the CBI?
May 04, 2016
16:09 (IST)
NCP's Majeed Memon says Milan court's judgement has double fallout
  • The Milan court's judgement has double fallout - political and legal.
  • The Milan court's judgement is not binding on us. We cannot send anyone to jail for one day or fine them for one rupee.
  • When UPA was in power, the government made a statement that they would pursue the affair. A CBI enquiry was ordered, 13 people were accused. We do not know what happened to the ED probe. The present government needs to explain what it did for two years.
May 04, 2016
16:02 (IST)
If the Congress had acted correctly, we would not have had to see this day. The NDA government also had a chance to act. Both BJP and Congress keep fighting amongst themselves and the matter doesn't move. The House deserves an explanation from them, says Mr Tirkey
May 04, 2016
15:59 (IST)
Defence scandals have become common today. It is surprising that the bribe-giver has been caught but the bribe taker has not, says BJD's Dilip Kumar Tirkey
May 04, 2016
15:57 (IST)
It was detected that there is something as far as 2012. CBI was ordered to investigate in 2013. So why did anything not happen? The CBI has a regulator like a fan. Sometimes it can move fast, sometimes slow. This is most unfortunate: Tapan Kumar Sen, CPI(M)
May 04, 2016
15:46 (IST)
We request the central government for an investigation by CBI and relevant agencies so the truth is for the people to see: Mayawati
May 04, 2016
15:42 (IST)
BSP's Mayawati joins Agusta debate in Parliament: This issue is very important. On this subject, the corruption that has taken place during the previous government. To prove this, the current government has given many arguments.

It would have been better if the final report of investigations had come and then we would have debated. The government had a time of two years.

May 04, 2016
15:34 (IST)
TMC leader Sukhendu Sekhar Roy: You forfeited the bank guarantee, recovered money. It is appreciable. But my question is has the bribe been recovered? This is my direct accusation against the government.

  • The only proof is two alphabets - in the letter accessed by the Italian court - AP can be anything. Anant Prasad or Atmanand Parmanand (referring to BJP alleging that it's Congess' Ahmed Patel)
May 04, 2016
15:23 (IST)
JDU leader Sharad Yadav attacks the BJP over Agusta: Your job is to investigate corruption. I only request that go catch something - a person or a rat - something.

Why aren't you doing something real and only giving lectures? All of this is based on a court in Italy, you have no CBI, ED over there. What are you fretting about?

May 04, 2016
15:08 (IST)
If money has gone to someone, whose responsibility is it find out who it went to? Samajwadi Party's Ram Gopal Yadav joins the AgustaWestland debate in Parliament

  • You (the BJP) are in power for two years, you are raising allegations against such big names. Why haven't you taken any action in this time? SP's Ram Gopal Yadav.
  • When you sensationalise an issue like this, blow it out of proportion, it is not a nice thing for them.

May 04, 2016
15:01 (IST)
Congress explains the change in tender for procurement of choppers: Flying height was reduced to 4,500 metres from 6,000 metres to avoid single vendor, says Abhishek Manu Sighvi
May 04, 2016
14:49 (IST)
Initials have no evidentiary value, says Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi on alleged mention of Congress leaders in letter cited in Italian court verdict on AgustaWestland

  • In 2014 February, UPA started process of banning AgustaWestland, gave the opinion that lets wait for a verdict of overseas courts.
  • The government that came to power, issued an order to temporary order to ban/blacklist in July. But then something strange happened. Government okayed exchanges with other umbrella companies, allowed dealing in spares, and allowed dealing with Finmeccanica through third parties.

May 04, 2016
14:42 (IST)
Abhishek Manu Singhvi leads Congress' rebuttal to BJP's allegations on Agusta

  • But the government here is trying to foist corruption charges against those not involved.
  • We are not saying everything is hunky dory, obviously there is wrongdoing. But we have to see if it is where my friends are pointing through insinuation and innuendo.
  • The totality of the Italian court's judgement has this, letter by Hule. However it is misread, misquoted. Does it mean from the President to the leader of a party implicated just because the find a mention?
  • The president of the court has said: We have no evidence against Sonia Gandhi, it has only been indicated that she and Manmohan Singh are among those who will travel in the helicopter.
May 04, 2016
14:25 (IST)
The CAG report details how doors were opened for AgustaWestland. I want to ask how this done: Bhupender Yadav

  • The country wants to know why we have failed to bring transparency in defence procurements in 66 years.
  • Whoever is responsible, must be punished. We have to ensure there are no Agustas in the future.

May 04, 2016
14:17 (IST)
Bhupender Yadav presents a chronological order of the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal

  • In 1999, the Air Force made a suggestion to replace MI8 VVIP helicopters.
  • These could only fly during good weather, in the day and had many flaws.
  • When NDA came to power it was decided that this procurement would not be a single-vendor process.
  • But then the government changed and the temperament changed.
  • Operational requirement, service quality were changed.
  • In 2005 three things were changed. Operational requirement, service quality, request and proposal rules.
  • A report by the CAG said that by increasing cabin height requirement, it was made into a single-vendor process.
  • Reduced flying height 6000 ft to 4,500, and cabin height raised 1.8 m making AgustaWestland the only eligible vendor.

May 04, 2016
14:12 (IST)
BJP's Bhupender Yadav speaks on the Agusta Case

  • This discussion is very important and will be helpful to decide a long term policy.
  • The matter also assumes importance because it is directly related to the military and a procurement for the nation's defence.
  • We have to see how we can foster greater transparency in our defence deals
May 04, 2016
14:10 (IST)
The ruling party is trying to disrupt the house, says Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad
May 04, 2016
14:07 (IST)
Ruckus in Rajya Sabha as Defence Minister starts his 'big reveal' speech on Agusta case
May 04, 2016
13:52 (IST)
BJP leader Kirit Somaiya says middleman like Guido Haschke, who was on board of directors of Emaar MGF, have corrupted very able politicians
May 04, 2016
13:15 (IST)
On Asked about the BJP's plan of 'new revelations' in the Parliament, on Agusta case, Congress President Sonia Gandhi said the BJP is 'most welcome'

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