The opposition had turned up the heat on the Narendra Modi government ahead of elections after media reports said the Rafale deal between India and France involved “major and unprecedented” concessions from the Indian government. Former minister and senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal has also alleged conflict of interest on the part of CAG Rajiv Mehrishi, asking him to recuse himself from auditing the deal as he was the finance secretary when the deal was negotiated.
The Rajya Sabha, meanwhile, is bracing for chaotic scenes as the controversial Citizenship Bill, which has sparked violence protests in the northeast, awaits passage. The bill provides for according Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after seven years of residence in India instead of 12 years, which is the norm currently, even if they do not possess any document.
The government had been hoping that the Bharat Ratna conferred on the late Bhupen Hazarika would placate protesters in Assam, but the legendary singer-composer’s son on Monday lashed out at the Centre, terming the award “short-lived cheap thrill” amid plans to pass the “painfully unpopular” bill.
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