Rafale Deal: Tussle over SC order continues
PAC may not summon AG, CAG over report; Cong condemns Centre's plea for 'factual error' correction
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) might not summon the attorney general and Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) over the public auditor's report on Rafale deal, as a majority of the members, including those from opposition, are not in favour of the proposal by PAC chairman Mallikarjun Kharge.
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had on Friday claimed that the Supreme Court in its verdict cited a report by the CAG on the Rafale deal that was submitted to the PAC, but he asserted that no such report was given to the House panel headed by Kharge.
Kharge on Saturday had said he will request all members of the panel to summon the attorney general and the CAG to ask them as to when the public auditor's report was tabled in Parliament. Senior BJD MP Bhartuhari Mahtab said the PAC chairman can call the AG and the CAG in his personal capacity but not before the entire panel as the Rafale deal was not part of its agenda for 2018-19. Mahtab said the remarks of the two officials cannot be recorded if they are called in a personal capacity.
TDP MP CM Ramesh too said that if the members wish so, the panel may call AG and the CAG but only after the report was tabled in Parliament. The BJP-led NDA MPs in the panel are strongly opposed to the idea, with the ruling party members saying it was like "questioning" the Supreme Court. "The Apex Court has categorically given a clean chit to the government on the Rafale deal, and it is unfortunate that Congress and a seasoned politician like Mr Kharge are politicising this sensitive issue of national security," BJP MP Anurag Thakur said.
PM should find out who prepared affidavit: Swamy
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to find out who erred while preparing the affidavit. His comment came after Centre filed an application before Supreme Court seeking a correction in its order in the case. "I think he should find out because it embarrasses him, that we can't even prepare a proper English draft, they could have given it in Hindi also," said Swamy.
Congress distrusting armed forces: PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday accused the Congress of trusting the enemy's claims over the Indian Army and weakening the forces. "The people of the party (Congress) that raises questions on surgical strikes, trust enemy's claims more than our Army, what can be expected of them?" he said, adding, "After the Kargil War, our Air Force was in need of modern aircraft. After the government of Atal ji, Congress ruled the country for 10 long years, but the Air Force did not become strong."
"Such people feel that even the country's defence ministry is lying, the defence minister is also lying, officers of the IAF are liars, too. Now they believe that the highest court of the country is also spreading lies," said Modi.
Arun Jaitley rules out JPC in fighter jet deal
Ruling out referring the Rafale deal to a parliamentary panel, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Sunday launched a blistering attack on the Congress, calling it "bad losers" and said the CAG's view of the deal is not relevant after the Supreme Court's clean chit.
"After the Supreme Court has spoken the last word, it gets legitimacy. A political body can never come to a finding contrary to what the Court has said," Jaitley wrote in a Facebook blog.
On the Congress claiming 'ambiguity' in the Supreme Court judgment, Jaitley said defence transactions go to the CAG for an audit review, which then are referred to the PAC.
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