Soon after the Supreme Court gave a clean chit to the Narendra Modi government on the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) began demanding an apology from the Congress.
The apex court on Friday dismissed all the petitions seeking a court-monitored probe into the deal and said there was no occasion to doubt the decision-making process in the multi-billion dollar defence deal.
The top court said there has been a necessity for fighter aircraft and the country cannot remain without jets. CJI Ranjan Gogoi, who read out the judgement for the three-judge bench, said the court found no reasons to interfere in the procurement process for the fighter jets.
The apex court said it is not the job of the court to deal with the comparative details of the pricing.
BJP demands apology
Union Minister Rajnath Singh said that the matter was crystal clear from the very beginning. “We have been saying that the allegations levelled by Congress were baseless and to gain political mileage,” he said after the ruling.
Singh also demanded in the Lok Sabha that Congress President Rahul Gandhi should apologise on the floor of the House for “misleading” the country on the Rafale jet deal issue.
BJP president Amit Shah tweeted, “Truth always triumphs”. He said that the judgement on the Rafale deal exposes the campaign of misinformation spearheaded by the Congress President for political gains.
BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain referred to the scandal that rocked the rajiv Gandhi-led government in the late ’80s, saying, “Every deal is not Bofors deal.”
“It is the culture and tradition of Congress and its top leadership to mint money from such deals on the cost of country’s national security,” he added.
Opposition says ‘not a setback’
The Supreme Court order is not a setback as the issue is still alive in the “people’s court” and the Congress will continue to raise it in Parliament, senior party leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said on Friday.
Congress has been demanding a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the Rafale fighter jet deal.
Reacting to the ruling, senior party leader Anand Sharma said that there is no reason for the Prime Minister and the BJP to celebrate and that they would ask a Joint Parliamentary Committee to look into the deal.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also said that the decision upholds his party’s stand that corruption in Rafale deal cannot be decided by the Supreme Court. He further said the Congress was challenging the Prime Minister for a JPC probe into Rafale deal to unveil every layer of corruption, reported PTI.
Congress senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge said that the party’s main demand was for a JPC and it still stands. He further said that there was no question of Rahul Gandhi apologising.
Meanwhile, Saugata Roy of the TMC also said that the Supreme Court said what it thinks was right, but that the opposition was demanding a JPC probe.
(With PTI Inputs)