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  4. 'It's not 2G or Bofors', says Nirmala Sitharaman as she rejects Opposition's demand for JPC over Rafale deal

'It's not 2G or Bofors', says Nirmala Sitharaman as she rejects Opposition's demand for JPC over Rafale deal

JPC for issues like the 2G Spectrum or Bofors were set up in the past following aspects like money trail and related bank account in Switzerland published extensively by the media, Sitharaman said.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
Chennai Updated on: January 23, 2019 19:33 IST
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Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday outrightly rejected the Opposition's demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee to probe the Rafale jet deal, saying the matter was not similar to 2G Spectrum allocation or Bofors scam. 

"It is not needed," she told reporters in Chennai in reply to a question on the matter. Unlike the 2G issue, no institution like the Comptroller and Auditor General said anything against the Rafale deal, she said.

The matter even reached the Supreme Court which expressed its satisfaction, be it process involved or the price, she added.

Later, the issue was debated in Parliament as well when members of Opposition did not even bother to listen when the government answered them point by point, she said.

JPC for issues like the 2G Spectrum or Bofors were set up in the past following aspects like money trail and related bank account in Switzerland published extensively by the media, Sitharaman said.

"However, it was not the case with Rafale where there are no middle men like Quattarocchi or the money trail," she said.

"You know the extent of media coverage (on Bofors) during that period (1988-89). Why it halted abruptly? who tried to muzzle?" she asked.

The Defence Minister alleged the Congress party asked media outlets to not publish anything on Bofors during the late 1980s.

Taking potshots at sections of media, she said following the Congress' diktat, "no one opened their mouth," and "such people" were now indulging in "false propaganda" against the government on Rafale deal.

No one had then made a hue and cry over freedom of expression vis-a-vis Bofors and that the Congress party was 'gagging them', she said.

However, they were now crying hoarse that freedom of expression was 'infringed' under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rule, Sitharaman went on to add.

(With PTI inputs)

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