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Panelists feel that the Congress should get some other agenda to be in news

The Congress has been alleging that the government denied the HAL an offset contract under the Rafale fighter jets deal with France. The government has denied these charges. APN’s popular debate Mudda discussed the issue. Anchorperson Anant posed the questions to panelists including the Congress’s Saif Khan, BJP’s Ashok Thakur, NCP’s Mahesh Chauhan, foreign affairs expert Shubro Kamal Dutta, and APN consultant Govind Pant Raju.

Khan said: “The government should show the parliamentary affairs committee (PAC) report on this. Taxpayers need to know this.”

Thakur said: “What is the problem with the Congress? The Supreme Court has given a clean chit to the government, why is the Congress not bothered about even the SC’s view on this. Why are they needlessly beating about the bush? Congress leaders keep changing their questions on a daily basis. This shows that Rahul Gandhi and Congress leaders are all spinning a web of lies.”

Chauhan said: “Rahul is asking why even after a Rs 1 lakh crore contract is given to HAL, it still has no funds to pay salaries? This is a valid query. BJP needs to come out clean on this contradiction.”

Dutta said: “Congress has been around for 60 years, they know very well how to talk lies. Before the Karnataka election, Lingayat issue was brought up, it was only to pull the wool on people eyes. Now Lok Sabha polls are near, and I think this Rafale-and-Rahul issue will fail. Like the Bollywood song ankh mare, this is what happened in Parliament during the Rafale debate. JPC can be called for issues inside the House. Const says clearly that JPC can’t be called over international deals. In the peak of the Bofors debate, there was a demand for JPC, and that time the then JPC chairman had said that international matters can’t be discussed at JPCs, and the Bofors JPC would be the last.”

Raju said: “Arun Jetlie has answered all questions on this matter, and the Congress should be satisfied on this now. But Congress keeps harping on the same issue to grab political mileage. People stop believing those who cry wolf too often. Congress is only trying to set its political agenda on this.”

Khan said: “On your channel you have a political expert and an international expert. They should know that the Supreme Court had said that the report of CAG is in public domain. But where is the report in public domain? France is richer today; we can’t say the same about India.”

Chauhan said: “The demand for JPC has been made so that people come to know the facts.”

Dutta said: “Supreme Court CJI had said on page 29 of the judgment on Rafale that there has been ‘no favouritism’, and on page 28 the report mentions that the court ‘is absolutely satisfied with the pricing of the deal’. Hollande says he has been misinterpreted. Hollande has also denied that he mentioned anything to Rahul regarding this deal.”

Thakur said: “HAL is today stronger than ever before. The enhanced fighter jets would boost the security of the nation.”

Raju said: “Congress’s Rafale strategy has boomeranged on its face.”

Anant asked Saif why Congress is changing its goalposts, its allegations daily? Khan said: “JPC would satisfy everyone’s doubts, what’s wrong with having that?”

Chauhan said:”If JPC is appointed and BJP is given a clean chit, then BJP will stand to gain, not Congress. In assembly polls last month, Rafale was a major issue.”

Thakur said: “When the whole deal is clean, question of going in for a JPC probe does not arise. The Congress leaders are lying.”

Compiled by- Niti Singh Bhandari

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