Vijayawada, Sep 4: Demanding a “Joint Parliamentary Committee” probe on the controversial Rafale jet fighters purchase deal, Congress leader M Veerappa Moily alleged that the External Affairs and Defence Ministries were kept in dark and a secret “pact” had taken place between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Reliance Group Chairman Anil Ambani in the deal.
Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, he said that the Congress party would organize nation-wide agitations on September 10 and 24 demanding the Centre to order for a probe on the Rafale deal by a “Joint Parliamentary Committee”.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not take the External Affairs and Defence Ministries into confidence in the purchase of Rafale jet fighters but has taken Ambani into confidence. He alleged that neither the Cabinet Committee on Security nor the Price Negotiation Committee was consulted before signing the agreement to purchase Rafale fighters”.
“The Centre is hiding behind the security clause because they know, as soon as they put the papers on the table, they will be exposed” he said. Contradicting with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s clarification on the price escalation of the Rafale fighters, the former Karnakata Chief Minister made it clear that the Congress party is not questioning the quality of fighters but questioning the steep escalation of cost. In fact the country needs 126 Rafale fighters in view of the challenges prevailed at the border, Moily said.
Taking a dig at Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman, he alleged that she compromised with the defence integrity of the country and she cannot continue in her post. Moily made it clear that the Congress would not have alliance with any party in Andhra Pradesh and contest the ensuing general elections alone. Congress MP K V P Ramachandra Rao was also present.UNI