Rahul asks Def Min to answer fundamental questions on Rafale Deal
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday said Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman should answer the five fundamental questions raised by his party in her reply to the debate on the issue in the Lok Sabha-
New Delhi, Jan 4 (UNI) Charging the NDA Government with having failed to answer the fundamental questions on the deal for Rafale fighter jets, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday said Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman should answer the five fundamental questions raised by his party in her reply to the debate on the issue in the Lok Sabha.
Talking to reporters here, Mr Gandhi said, ''During the debate on the Rafale issue in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday and Thursday, the Government refused to answer the fundamental questions posed by the Congress party. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is accused of corruption in the deal, chose to run away from her House. Today, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will reply to the debate.
''I want the Defence Minister answer a few fundamental questions on the deal. These include as to who decided to raise the price of the jet from Rs 526 cr to Rs 1600 cr- whether it was the Indian Air Force, the defence ministry or the PM. Also, the Air force required 126 jets. We want to know who decided to reduce the number of jets being bought to 36? She also should answer who decided to give contract to Anil Ambani and remove Hindustan Aeronautics Limited from the deal. I also want to know whether the defence Ministry raised the objections to increase price of the jets. If there were objections, what were those?''
Hoping that the Defence Minister would answer these questions satisfactorily, he, however, expressed doubt on the matter.
''I hope that the Defence Minister is able to give satisfactory answers to these questions. However, I have doubts whether she will be able to answer them,'' Mr Gandhi said.
Reiterating his demand for a Joint Parliamentary committee probe into the Rafale deal, Mr Gandhi said, ''There should be a JPC probe into the deal. The Supreme Court, in its judgement, has not said that there should not be a probe. It only said that the issue does not come under its jurisdictions.''
He said that if the Congress comes to power, it will definitely order a JPC probe in the issue.
''If we come to power, we will set up a JPC to probe the issue.. All those responsible would be published,''Mr Gandhi said.
The Lok Sabha is holding a debate on the Rafale deal. Ms Sitharaman is scheduled to give a reply to the debate on Friday afternoon.