Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman hit out at the Congress party yet again on Monday, accusing it of “knowingly misleading” the people of the country over the issue of Rafale fighter jets deal between India and France. Targeting the Gandhi family, the Defence Minister said that they had shown “amazing audacity” by not listening to the verdict of the Supreme Court.
“The Congress is knowingly misleading people on pricing of Rafale jets,” said the Union Defence Minister, citing the Supreme Court order, which has dismissed all petitions seeking a probe into the Rafale fighter jets deal.
She further said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA government at the Centre had given the pricing details of the fighter jets to the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), adding that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) would also have a look at it.
“We have given the price to the CAG. In a Parliamentary system the CAG looks into it and then its report goes to PAC. The PAC will have a look at it and then it will become a public document. It is a process and it has commenced,” said the Union Defence Minister.
“We explained the process through which information comes to Parliament. In that, the past tense, future tense, present tense and present continuous tense has come into play. That is post the decision, is it not? Therefore how is it going to affect verdict?” she added.
After the Supreme Court ruling on the Rafale issue last week, Nirmala Sitharaman had said that it was a win for the government and the court’s observations had put allegations pertaining to the deal to rest.
The Congress, however, continued to attack the government over the issue despite the Supreme Court ruling. Addressing a press conference, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and PAC chairman Mallikarjun Kharge had alleged that the government had lied to the court, claiming that the pricing report was neither with the CAG nor was it submitted before the PAC.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) dismissed the claims of the Congress party, with Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad accusing the grand old party and its president of showing disrespect to the top court. During a press meet, Prasad had asked, “Do Rahul Gandhi and Congress party consider themselves above the law?”