Hyderabad: Accusing the Congress and its president Rahul Gandhi of spreading lies on the Rafale fighter jet deal, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis Monday demanded an apology from the main opposition party and its chief to the country and to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Addressing a press conference here, he alleged that for the last few months, the Congress and Rahul Gandhi kept on spreading lies over the deal and misled the people of the country and also maligned the country internationally.
He said they should reveal the source of information for their charges on the fighter jet deal when the Narendra Modi government purchased the aircraft in a transparent manner. “We want to ask Rahul Gandhi the reasons for abruptly stopping the acquisition process, which was completed in 2012. Was it stopped for any mediator? Rahul Gandhi has to answer the country on it and also on who gave him the false information through which he spread the lies. Is this information given by forces who don’t want to see the country strong or from those who wanted to be part of this deal, but were unable to sell the aircraft? Rahul Gandhi needs to throw some light,” Fadnavis said.
He said the ‘lies’ of the Congress have been exposed following the Supreme Court judgement. “Now is the time Rahul Gandhi should apologise to the country and also personally to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for using such language against him,” the BJP leader demanded.
He further alleged that it has been the history of Congress to indulge in scams in defence acquisitions and claimed that it cannot tolerate the fact that a government has completed the deal without any mediator. “The Congress should keep politics aside and think of the countrys interests first,” he said.
Fadnavis said that there are certain things related to national security which cannot be publicly deliberated and the Congress took advantage of that only. This particular deal was between two countries and bound by certain agreements and those disclosures cannot be made before everybody, he said.
He claimed that the cost of new procurement was lower than the earlier one, but Congress was spreading lies, despite knowing it. On the Congress demand for a JPC, the Maharashtra Chief Minister said that the Supreme Court order was very clear and under the Constitution, no JPC has the power to overrule the Apex Court judgement.
“So now the JPC has become irrelevant. The Congress also knows that under the Constitution, no JPC can scrutinise a Supreme Court order or overrule its order. Still, just to spread confusion among people and to stick to its lies, which has fallen utterly flat, they are talking about this JPC…maturity from Congress party and its president is required. I think it is high time that they should shut their mouths and apologise to the nation,” Fadnavis added.
The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed pleas challenging the deal between India and France for procurement of 36 Rafale jets, saying there was no occasion to “really doubt the decision making process” warranting setting aside of the contract.
The Congress has repeatedly criticised the deal for the 36 Rafale jets, alleging that the government was procuring each aircraft at a cost of over Rs 1,670 crore as against Rs 526 crore finalised by the previous UPA government. The government has, however, denied any irregularity in the deal.