Drama in Lok Sabha as Rahul threatens to play tape

New Delhi


High drama was witnessed in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday when Congress President Rahul Gandhi sought to play a purported recording of a conversation of a Goa Minister on the Rafale deal as he accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of bypassing procedures to award the contract to a private entity after agreeing to a three-time hike in the price per aircraft and reducing the number of planes to be bought.

Pandemonium broke out when Gandhi took out his mobile phone and wanted to play the recorded conversation amidst stiff opposition from the ruling benches, including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who alleged that after concocting French President Emmanuel Macron on the issue of disclosing the price, Gandhi was now trying to play a conversation which he knew was false. 

The drama unfolded during a discussion on the Rafale deal on which the Congress has been pressing for constitution of a Joint Parliamentary Committee. 

As shouting continued, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan asked Gandhi to authenticate the purported conversation and sternly told him not to play any recording. 

"They are so afraid, I will not play the tape and if it pleases you but...," he said adding he would read from the taped conversation. 

Jaitley interjected to say that Gandhi knew it was false and was refusing to authenticate it. 

"You know it is false," Jaitley told Gandhi. "Because he knows it is false... he lies repeatedly." The Finance Minister also referred to Gandhi's statement on Macron and said it too was false and fabricated. 

As the two sides involved in heated exchanges, the Speaker adjourned the House for five minutes. -IANS