The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is scheduled to hold several press conferences across the nation in a move to "expose the Congress party for plotting conspiracy against the Centre and messing with nation's defence".
According to news agency ANI, the saffron party will hold the press briefings in at least 70 locations throughout the country on Monday.
After the Congress's consistent accusations alleging corruption by the Narendra Modi government in the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France, the Supreme Court's on Friday observed that it was "satisfied" with the decision making process in concluding the jet deal and rejected demands for a probe.
The observation by the apex court that it found no reason to intervene on what it called the "sensitive issue" of purchase of 36 jets came as a political victory for the BJP.
PM Modi had come in for a relentless attack from Congress President Rahul Gandhi who alleged corruption in the procurement of the fighter jets for the IAF from French aerospace major Dassault Aviation, calling it a scam which allegedly benefitted industrialist Anil Ambani.
Holding it did not find any substantial material on record to show there was "commercial favouritism" to any party by the Indian Government in choosing an offset partner, a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said perception of individuals cannot be the basis of a "fishing and roving enquiry" by the court and it cannot "sit in judgement" over the wisdom of the decision to go in for purchase of 36 aircraft in place of 126.
"We are satisfied that there is no occasion to really doubt the process, and even if minor deviations have occurred, that would not result in either setting aside the contract or requiring a detailed scrutiny by the court," it ruled.
Shortly after the observation that comes ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls was pronounced, BJP President Amit Shah launched a blistering attack on the Congress, saying it was a "victory of truth" and demanded an apology from Rahul Gandhi. The court decision is a slap on the face of those who had alleged corruption, Shah told reporters.
But the Congress claimed the Supreme Court has vindicated its stand that the issue of "corruption" in the Rs 36,000 crore Rafale contract cannot be decided by it and challenged the Centre to constitute a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe the deal.
Rahul Gandhi stuck to his allegation there was massive corruption in the contract and wondered why the CAG report on the deal was not yet shared with the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament even though it was cited by the apex court.
At a news conference, Gandhi also reiterated the Congress' demand for a JPC probe and claimed if it was conducted the names of Narendra Modi and businessman Anil Ambani will crop up. Both the government and the Ambani's Reliance Group have been outrightly rejecting Gandhi's allegations of any wrongdoing.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley maintained only a judicial body can carry out such a probe as there has been an experience in the past of JPCs working on partisan lines. "The SC verdict is conclusive and leaves no scope for any doubt on the deal, "he asserted at a joint news conference with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Jaitley dubbed allegations on the Rafale deal as "fiction writing" that compromised national security, Sitharaman said the matter of Rafale deal has been put to rest through the court verdict.
The apex court gave its 29-page judgement on pleas seeking lodging of an FIR and a court-monitored probe alleging irregularities in the jet deal, in which both India and France entered into an inter-governmental agreement (IGA) in 2016 after Modi's summit talks with the then French President Francois Hollande in Paris the previous year.
The three-judge bench dealt with "three broad areas of concern" raised in the petitions, identifying them as "the decision making process, pricing and the choice of Indian offset partners (IOP)".