Home > politics > policy > Government ready to discuss Rafale deal in Rajya Sabha: VP Venkaiah Naidu

New Delhi: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has agreed to discuss the Rafale deal, Rajya Sabha chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu said on Thursday amid the din and chaos in the Upper House over the controversial fighter jet deal and the Cauvery row. The House was subsequently adjourned for the day.

“The government has given it in writing. We can discuss Rafale. Many issues are pending and important bills are there. We can discuss price rise, agriculture. Please cooperate," Naidu said.

The opposition led by the Congress has been demanding a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the multi-crore Rafale deal even after the Supreme Court, in its 14 December order, said that it had found no evidence of wrongdoing in the government’s decision-making process. The apex court had also rejected petitions seeking an investigation into the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.

The court had also observed that the choice of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd as the Indian partner of Dassault Aviation, was the French company’s decision. However, it refused to go into the pricing details of the government-to-government aircraft deal.

Senior leaders of the Congress, however, said that the Supreme Court was not the best forum to decide on the issue. On Tuesday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said the party will continue to press for a JPC probe into the Rafale deal. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has to answer," he said.

The BJP dismissed the Congress’ demands as mere sloganeering and an excuse to disrupt the House. “The truth has prevailed and we are ready to discuss the matter in the House. Why is the Congress shying away from a debate? They are disrupting the House and not even engaging with us on a discussion on Rafale," said a senior BJP leader, seeking anonymity.

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