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Opposition Dubs Rafale Deal a Scam, Demands Joint Parliamentary Panel for Probe

The issue was raised by the Opposition during a discussion on the first batch of supplementary demands for grants for 2018-19.

PTI

Updated:August 7, 2018, 10:20 PM IST
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Opposition Dubs Rafale Deal a Scam, Demands Joint Parliamentary Panel for Probe
File photo of proceedings in Lok Sabha.
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New Delhi: Congress and some other opposition parties on Tuesday staged a walkout of the Lok Sabha demanding setting up of a joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe the Rafale fighter jet deal.

The issue was raised by the Opposition during a discussion on the first batch of supplementary demands for grants for 2018-19.

"By not replying to the allegations on the Rafale deal, the government has accepted whatever we have said. He (the Finance Minister) has accepted. They should resign," Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said soon after minister Piyush Goyal replied to the debate on the supplementary demands.

"We demand the setting up of a JPC on Rafale deal...we are walking out," he said and led the walkout of Congress and CPI(M) members who were present in the House at that time.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar urged Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to expunge all remarks relating to the Rafale deal.

"It seems that they are not walking out of the House but they will walk away from the 2019 elections," Kumar said.

Earlier in day, other opposition members too demanded setting up of JPC on the Rafale deal, dubbing it as a scam.

Congress MP K C Venugopal, while initiating the debate on the Supplementary Demand for Grants for 2018-19, said that the House should know about the cost of the Rafale deal and alleged that there was "a major scam".

"We demand a JPC inquiry into this deal," he said.

Objecting to his demand, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey urged Deputy Speaker M Thambi Durai that Venugopal should place the evidence before the House before making any "wild allegation".

Later, Trinamool Congress leader Saugata Roy also said that the Rafale deal was "one of the biggest scandals of independent India."

"The country is going to lose Rs 2,500 crore due to Rafale deal," Roy said, while demanding a "full-fledged enquiry" into the fighter jet deal.

During his speech, Jai Prakash Narain Yadav (RJD) also demanded setting up of JPC to probe this fighter plane deal with France.

Quoting a report of Dassault Aviation, the makers of the Rafale aircraft, Rajiv Satav (Cong) said when Qatar and Egypt have got these planes at Rs 1,319 crore, the government should explain why it is buying the aircraft for Rs 1,600 crore.

The entire deal seems to be mired in corruption, it needs to be probed by JPC, Satav said.
| Edited by: Naqshib Nisar
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