New Delhi, Dec 18 (IANS) Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday said the Congress was running away from a debate on Rafale as its party chief Rahul Gandhi cannot look the BJP in the eye and tell the truth if such a debate was to be held in Parliament on the defence deal.
“Mr Rahul Gandhi, we are willing to have a debate in Parliament on Rafale deal. Don’t run away from the debate. The Congress party today squandered a debate in Lok sabha and Rajya Sabha,” Prasad told reporters outside Parliament.
“You owe an apology to the country as the Supreme Court today, after detailed analysis, has exposed the lies that were attempted to be spread in the country on the Rafale jet deal.
“I know why the Congress is running away from the debate. It is because if the debate happens, many skeletons in the cupboard of the Congress party will come out in defence deals,” he said.
The Minister was responding to the Congress chief’s remarks who earlier said the government was scared of a probe in the Rafale deal.
The Congress and other opposition parties have been demanding a probe by a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) into the Rs 59,000 crore Rafale fighter jet deal with France.
Prasad said a JPC cannot be formed “to satisfy the ego of a half-learned leader”.
“Moreover, they must come for a debate even for a JPC,” he added.
He also took strong exception to Gandhi’s remarks who said he would not let Prime Minister Narendra Modi sleep.
“This is a new low in the public discourse. But nothing better is expected from Rahul Gandhi whose party ensured that people of the country did not sleep for 60 years due to corruption, malgovernance and patronage of selected people. The entire saga of suffering of farmers is too well known,” Prasad said.
He also alleged that Vijay Mallya’s loans were “restructured” during the Congress-led UPA government.