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Rafale deal: Only option is to form a JPC, says Mallikarjun Kharge


Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said that the only option to do away with the Rafale impasse in the Parliament is to form a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the deal as it was done during the Bofors and 2G cases. Kharge pressed for it on Wednesday.

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“We are pressing for the demand of JPC meeting. We want JPC as we will only get to know everything when Parliament members sit and look into files. JPC was formed in Bofors and 2G cases also. If they announce JPC, this (Parliament logjam) will end immediately as we have no other demands,” Kharge, who is also the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman, said.

Mallikarjun Kharge also questioned the Centre’s move which seeks to rectify the Supreme Court’s order. “How can there be a typo? Had it been one word it would have been understandable, the entire paragraph cannot be a typo. Things have come out now and they are making attempts to further hide it,” Kharge questioned.

Asserting Congress’ stand on the matter, the senior leader said that his party has been demanding a JPC even before the top court came out with its order. “Court has not given its decision on price. It has not said anything about HAL or public sector. Has court fixed pricing? Decisions about pricing, technology transfer haven’t been taken up by the court. In November itself we said that Rafale deal issue cannot be resolved in the Supreme Court. This was said by us even a month before the Supreme Court’s verdict,” Mallikarjun Kharge said.

Kharge’s statements came few days after Supreme Court signalled a victory of sorts for the ruling BJP government. The top court said there’s “no occasion to really doubt the process”, which was a setback for the opposition which wanted to corner the Centre on the controversial Rafale deal.

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