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Why not order JPC on Rafale deal, asks Congress

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Stepping up its demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the Rafale fighter jet deal, the Congress on Sunday questioned the Narendra Modi government’s silence and asked why can’t India order an investigation now since the deal is already under scrutiny in France.

Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi put out an online poll on Twitter, asking why the Modi government is avoiding a JPC.

Also read: Rahul, who flagged corruption in Rafale deal, stands vindicated: Congress

“Why is the Modi government not ready for a JPC probe — guilty conscience, saving the friends, JPC does not want a Rajya Sabha seat and all of these are correct,” he said in a post in Hindi, while putting out the survey. Of the 74,733 people who took part in the survey, 63 % opted for “all these are correct” option.

Alleging corruption in the fighter jet deal, Mr. Gandhi had made it his party’s major poll plank in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

But after French investigative website, Mediapart, reported that a judge has been appointed to lead a judicial probe into suspected “corruption and favouritism” in the ₹59,000 crore Rafale fighter jet deal and would cover the tenure of a former French president, the issue has politically revived.

“After more than 24 hours of the decision by France to investigate corruption, influence peddling, money laundering, favouritism, there is one question every responsible and concerned Indian citizen asks: Why is the Government of India still silent,” asked party spokesperson Pawan Khera at a press conference.

Also read: BJP accuses Congress of lying about Rafale deal

“It is not France that has been cheated or robbed, rather it is every single Indian taxpayer who has been cheated and robbed off,” he added.

Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithiraj Chavan tweeted, “France has shown zero tolerance towards corruption and not spared even their former President Nicolas Sarkozy. Hopefully, the investigation in #RafaleScam by the French anti-corruption agency will unearth the truth and expose massive corruption something which India could not do”.

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge asserted that Mr. Gandhi’s allegations of corruption has been “vindicated as scandalous details of the scam have been revealed”.

“In 2019, the then CJI dismissed the need for an inquiry into the Rafale deal. However, the new revelations have substantiated the doubts regarding the dubious deal. A JPC must be immediately constituted to probe the matter,” Mr. Kharge said on twitter.


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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 2:39:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rahul-gandhi-attacks-govt-on-rafale-deal/article35130907.ece

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