Union Cabinet on Monday, 7 January approved 10 percent reservation in jobs for economically backward upper castes, ANI reported.As the Winter Session of Parliament nears its end, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday, addressed the media outside and said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman were answerable to the nation regarding allegations over the Rafale deal.Sitharaman had concluded her speech by saying the Bofors scam had brought the Congress down, but the Rafale deal would bring PM Modi back to build a new India.Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman answered questions over the Rafale deal in Lok Sabha on 4 JanuaryOn the same day, Rahul Gandhi said that if his party comes to power in 2019, a criminal investigation will be launched into the Rafale dealLok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan had suspended 21 MPs of AIADMK, TDP from the House for four days on 3 JanuaryThe Winter Session of Parliament began on 11 December 2018 and will conclude on 8 January 2019(The Quint will no longer be on WhatsApp, owing to changes in its policies regarding news publishers. You can now get the latest news updates on our Telegram channel. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram.)Hitting back at the Congress on the Rafale fighter jet deal, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday alleged that the party had stopped the deal when it was in power as it "didn't get the money" and ignored national security.The BJP-led NDA government gave Rs one lakh crore worth of contracts to HAL, she said.Taking on the Congress, the minister said, "You stopped the deal, forgetting Air Force was suffering. You didn't conclude the deal, because it didn't suit you. The deal didn't get you money.""They did not intend to buy the aircraft till something else was done. There is something different between defence deal and deal in defence," she said, asserting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government gave priority to national security."You are misleading the country by saying the NDA government reduced 126 Rafale jets to 36. Congress was supposed to buy 18 in fly-away condition, the NDA raised that to 36," she said.The delivery of first Rafale will happen in 2019, while the last aircraft of 36 jets will be delivered in 2022, the minister said.She said the IAF always advises government to buy two squadrons, which is 36 aircraft instead of 18, in case of emergency purchases, the Minister said.Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday said Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman gave a long speech in Parliament but did not answer any of his posers on the Rafale deal and "ran away"."The defence minister did not answer any of the questions I asked on the Rafale deal. She did not even take the name of Anil Ambani," Gandhi told reporters outside Parliament.Gandhi said he put two questions to the minister towards the end of the debate and asked her to reply in yes or no.Finance Minister Arun Jaitley praised Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for her fiery "point-by-point" rebuttal to the Congress's charges on the Rafale deal in Parliament."Well done! Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman ji, for an outstanding performance. You demolished the fake campaign. We are all proud of your performance," Jaitley tweeted.The Congress and BJP have both issued a three-line whip for their respective party MPs to be present in the Lok Sabha on Monday, 7 January.All BJP MPs will protest in front of the Gandhi statue at the Parliament at 10 am on Monday, 7 January, against the attack on BJP Rajya Sabha MP V Muraleedharan’s residence in Kerala’s Thalassery, reported ANI.Trinamool Congress (TMC) gives notice under Rule 267 in Rajya Sabha to take up discussion on ‘Parliament being bypassed and legislative scrutiny being ignored,’ ANI reported.Congress's Mallikarjun Khadge gives notice under rule 193 in Lok Sabha on Rafale aircraft deal demanding a joint parliamentary committee (JPC).Congress MP KC Venugopal has given a notice to move Privilege Motion against the Defence Minister for misleading the House on contracts given to HAL.Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that Rafale was the world’s biggest scam and that the Congress had given a notice for it to be discussed in the Rajya Sabha.“Rafale is not just India's but world's biggest scam. The more the ministers are speaking, the more it is becoming a bigger scam. The defence minister has given wrong statement in the parliament. BJP is the first party which has given wrong documents to the SC. Today we have given notice for discussion in the matter of Rafale scam in Rajya Sabha. Rafale and CBI inquiry on political parties and politicians should be two matters that must be discussed in the parliament. it is a matter of democracy,” he said.Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday told the Parliament that contracts during 2014-18 worth Rs 26,570.80 crore have already been signed with HAL.“I have received confirmation from HAL that contracts during 2014-18 worth Rs 26,570.80 crore have already been signed with HAL. Orders worth Rs 73,000 crore approx are in the pipeline,” she said.Three AIADMK MPs P Venugopal, KN Ramchandran, K Gopal and TDP MP N Shivaprasad suspended for two days by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan under Rule 374A.National Federation of Indian Women stage protest outside Parliament over Women Reservation Bill, News18 reported.Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad trained guns at the Congress over the alleged AgustaWestland scam and attacked the Rahul Gandhi over alleged the Rafale deal.Congress President Rahul Gandhi, while addressing the media outside Parliament, said that PM Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman were answerable to the nation regarding allegations over the Rafale deal.“Today Nirmala Sitharaman lied in Parliament. I'm again requesting the defence minister and PM Modi to answer – Did Air Force and Defence ministry senior officers object to your interference in Rafale deal? Please answer in a ‘Yes’ or ‘No,’” he said.“Defence Minister had earlier said that Rs 1 lakh crore were given to HAL, we challenged that, and today she said that Rs 26,570.80 crore were given to HAL, Nirmala Sitharaman ji lied in Parliament,” he added.Union Cabinet approved 10 percent reservation in jobs for economically backward upper castes, news agency ANI reported.Rajya Sabha sitting extended by one more day till 9 January, reported ANI.