Senior Congress leader M VeerappaMoily Friday stated if his party was voted to power in the next Lok Sabha polls, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited would be accommodated as an offset partner and Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence eased out of the Rafale deal.
Mr. Moily, who ruled out scrapping the Rafale deal if his party was voted to power, told reporters, “When our government comes, we will go back to the HAL as an offset partner…definitely we are committed to it”.
“We believe in Rafale jet…it is good…it cannot be canceled…it is our own baby, we only had finalized it with the HAL,” he said.
Labeling a press conference on his party’s stand on the defense deal, the former Union minister said his party was only opposed to “unlawful gains” by somebody under the guise of the defense deal and not the fighter jet.
Asked if Reliance would be out of the middle of the Rafale framework as an offset partner, he shot back, “How that company can be in…?”
To a question on approaching the Supreme Court since the Congress has stated that the court was fed “false information” by the government, Mr. Moily said constituting a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) was their demand.
“The Congress is very transparent that only a Joint Parliamentary Committee will be competent to go into the Rafale deal…we are not going to Supreme Court…we did not petition the court in the past too,” he stated, adding only Parliament would be the appropriate forum for the scrutiny.
Recalling the Congress-led governments constituting and facing JPCs in the past, Mr. Moily said the BJP government wanted to conceal the truth.
“They know that they have everything to hide and nothing to disclose,” he stated.
On Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing the Congress of threatening each institution in India, Mr. Moily said it was a “big joke”.
It is only the BJP-led government that has destroyed the institutions, be it the CBI or the planning commission, he stated.
On the BJP’s demand for a debate in Parliament which they stated was more powerful than a JPC probe, the Congress leader stated the saffron party did not know the basic features of parliamentary procedures.
“A JPC can investigate the matter. The discussions had already been done on the deal. What more discussion would they like?” he said.
Questioned about his accusation against Indian Air Force chief B S Dhanoa, Mr. Moily said, “It is not right to say that I called him a liar…one of the television channels took it out of context”.
The Congress leader stated that he only questioned Dhanoa quipping “fine” following the Supreme Court judgment on the Rafale deal.
“I demanded him what is fine…I think in a matter like this, the armed forces or the chiefs anyone, they should not unnecessarily get into political controversies,” Mr. Moily said.
About the Supreme Court’s ruling on the deal, he quoted extensively from it and stated it was not a “clean chit to the BJP government”.
Both PM Modi and the Government of India would “face the music” since the court has been “misled”, he stated.
“If BJP is a real democratic party, it should take up the challenge, constitute JPC and face it. They have no faith in Parliament,” he said.
The prime minister did not have time to attend the sitting though he was available in his chamber, the Congress leader added.