Claims JPC heavily politicised, Cong misleading nation.
Mumbai: Accusing the Congress of misleading the nation over the Rafale fighter aircraft deal, Union defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the Supreme Court has already made it clear that there are no irregularities in all three aspects of procurement, price and offset partner. Despite the apex court verdict, the Congress is showing ‘amazing audacity’ by raising questions over it, she said.
“The Congress is upset over the fact that there is no corruption in the arms procurement. While our neighbouring countries bought advanced weapons, the Congress government kept dillydallying their procurement during its reign of 10 years. It did not even procure the fighter jets required for the air force,” said Ms Sitharaman.
The demand for a Joint Parliamentary Comm-ittee (JPC) probe by Congress is highly absurd, as the Supreme Court has dismissed all the writ petitions seeking a court-monitored probe in the Rafale aircraft deal. The JPC is a heavily politicised body and the apex court had settled the matter, she said while speaking to newspersons at the BJP party office in Dadar on Monday.
Ms Sitharaman alleged that the Congress was knowingly misleading people on the pricing aspect of the deal. “The details of the pricing of the fighter jets have been given to the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG). The CAG then will send its report to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament and then it will be tabled before Parliament,” she said.
The defence minister, however, termed allegations of misleading the apex court over the CAG and PAC reports as a ‘problem of interpretation.’ “The government had explained it to the SC that there was an interpretation problem and it wants the court to have a look at the error and correct it,” she said.
The Union defence minister stated that the government would wait for the apex court to hear its application after it reconvenes after the Christmas vacations on January 5, 2019.
She was speaking as part of the BJP’s move to hold pressers in 70 cities across the country on Monday to attack the opposition party against the backdrop of the verdict on the controversial Rafale jet deal.