HITTING BACK at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over the Rafale deal, the Congress on Wednesday asked the government to explain why is it shying away from ordering a joint parliamentary committee probe if everything was above board. “Mr Jaitley, thanks for bringing the nation’s attention back to the GREAT #RAFALE ROBBERY! How about a Joint Parliamentary Committee to sort it out? Problem is, your Supreme Leader is protecting his friend, so this may be inconvenient. Do check & revert in 24 hrs. We’re waiting!” tweeted Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma rejected Jaitley’s contention that the government had nothing to do with the selection of partners for offset supplies. He said vendors have to disclose how the offset contracts would be discharged under the defence procurement policy.
“You left out HAL, violated the Official Secrets Act, did not seek the mandate of CCS and conducted no price determination for reducing the aircraft purchase from 126 to 36 aircraft. So there should be a probe into this. They may deny whatever, but the truth will come out,” Sharma said.
At the AICC briefing, senior leader Manish Tewari questioned the timing of Jaitley’s offensive. He said the timing of Jaitley’s defence of Rafale “exactly at that point in time when the RBI was releasing demonetisation data… it would not be remiss to say that the Finance Minister was trying to cover up one scandal with another scandal”. “We have been constantly demanding that a JPC should be constituted to go into the Rafale matter. If the government has nothing to hide… why are they afraid of facing a JPC probe,” he said.