Congress also wants a discussion on the Rafale issue in Parliament, says Supreme Court has vindicated the party’s stand.
New Delhi: Undeterred by the Supreme Court’s verdict Friday, the Congress will go on the offensive over the Rafale deal and will press for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe the issue. The party is also likely to demand a discussion on the issue in the Parliament.
Senior Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said the top court has vindicated the party’s stand. He said the party has been maintaining that the court is not an apt forum to probe a sensitive defence deal.
“I challenge PM Narendra Modi to submit to a JPC probe to examine noting on all defence ministry files. We urge a JPC to be formed to probe Rafale deal,” he told reporters soon after the verdict.
The Supreme Court Friday dismissed a batch of petitions seeking a court-monitored probe into the multi-billion-dollar Rafale fighter jets deal with France.
The Congress which has sought a JPC in the alleged scam said it will continue to press for its demand.
“We were neither the petitioner in the case nor did we seek the intervention of the Supreme Court. We will continue to be on the offensive,” said Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi.
“It is the government which will be on the defensive. We have been demanding a JPC and we will continue with our demands,” said Chaturvedi.
A senior Congress leader said the party will also raise a demand for a discussion on the issue in the Parliament.
“The opposition is completely united on the issue for a JPC. We will also press for a discussion on the issue,” said the leader on condition of anonymity.
“The Parliament will not be able to function unless the government agrees to discuss Rafale, the agrarian crisis, joblessness and the EVM issue,” added the leader.
Congress put the spotlight on the Rafale issue during the recently-concluded assembly elections and is geared up to make it an issue for the Lok Sabha elections too.
Party president Rahul Gandhi has been continuously attacking the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Central government over the Rafale deal. He even called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “corrupt man”.
He alleged that while Modi had promised to be a “gatekeeper for the country”, he only turned out to be a “gatekeeper for Anil Ambani”. Ambani is the group chairman of Reliance Defence, the offset partner under the deal.
Gandhi had also termed the Rafale deal as “an open and shut case” and “a partnership between Modi and Ambani”.