Maharashtra CM pitches for apology by Congress

Maharashtra CM pitches for apology by Congress
Highlights

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday charged that the Congress was changing rules of its own game by demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee JPC probe after the Supreme Court nailed its lies on Rafael deal

Hyderabad: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday charged that the Congress was changing rules of its own game by demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe after the Supreme Court nailed its lies on Rafael deal.

Addressing a joint press conference, the Maharashtra Chief Minister said it is high time for the Congress to tender an apology to the nation by showing some maturity than dragging the issue on.

Referring to the demand for a JPC probe on the Rafael deal, Fadnavis said that the Constitution does not empower the JPC to review and override the verdict of the Supreme Court. “The Congress party knows it well. Yet, it is trying to confuse the nation and people, changing the rules of the game to advance its malicious propaganda against the BJP led government at the Centre and Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said.

The Maharashtra CM said that the manufactured stories and heaps of lies over the Rafael deal purported by the Congress and it president Rahul Gandhi for the last couple of months have been thoroughly exposed before the country and people with the SCs verdict. The Congress has led a campaign on the deal by compromising the national security interests and the country's image among the community of nations. The Congress and its president created hurdles in the country in procuring the combat aircraft which the Air Force was badly in need of. Besides, it had directly sponsored four of the petitions before the Apex court, challenging three issues.

They were deviation in the procedure, pricing of the aircraft and off-set clause in the Rafael procurement deal arrived at by the present government. On all these three counts the SC verdict had clearly said that it had not found any procedural lapses, discrepancies in the pricing and the offset clause. On the top of it, the SC verdict had also made it clear that when the neighbouring counties have been acquiring the fourth and fifth generation combat aircraft, it would not stall the process and acquiring the Rafael in the national interests, Fadnavis said. It was against this backdrop that the Chief Minister asked Rahul Gandhi and Congress to spell out the reasons for stalling the procedure of acquiring the combat aircraft for four years.

Fadnavis said that the then Defence Minister A K Antony in the UPA government had said that the country had no money to acquire combat aircraft. Thus, leaving the national security in vulnerable, despite the fact that Air Force had said it was in dire need of the combat aircraft to maintain defence preparedness vis a vis belligerent positions adopted by Pakistan and China. He asked whether the process was stalled because "the person" who the Congress wanted to act as a middleman in Rafael deal could not be roped in.

Criticising the Congress following a tradition of middlemen in all the earlier defence deals, he said, “the Rafael deal finalised by the BJP government at the Centre had been done on the basis of a government to government agreement, without giving scope for any middlemen. It seems, Congress and its president were worried about following a transparent procedure.”

Earlier, BJP State president Dr K Laxman said that following the directions of the party chief Amit Shah the party will be staging dharnas in front of the Congress party offices across 70 cities in the country on Tuesday to expose its party's lines on the Rafael deal.

That apart, district wings of the party will organise dharnas before the collectorates on December 19, and submit memoranda addressed to President Ram Nath Kovind on the issue through the District Collectors.

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