The war of words between Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman over the controversial Rafale jet deal continues to get worse on Monday during a heated discussion in Parliament. Amid the verbal conflict between the two leaders, Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) Nitish Kumar has finally broken his silence in the matter.
While addressing a press briefing on Monday, Nitish Kumar was asked about Congress' allegations on the Rafale deal, he asserted that there is nothing more to discuss on the deal when the Supreme Court has given its verdict on and it has been discussed in Parliament in detail.
"There is no issue in Rafale left to discuss. Creating a fuss will not help. Even Supreme Court gave a verdict on it. There has been a healthy discussion on Rafale going on in Parliament now and what more there is. When it has been discussed in Parliament and the court, then what is the need to confuse the peopl further. No relevant issue is coming up now, so on what basis will the JPC be formed in the matter?", said Nitish Kumar in the matter.
Amid the ongoing political furore over the Rafale deal, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, on Sunday, tweeted a report questioning the contracts worth Rs 1 lakh given to HAL(Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) and demanded the resignation of Nirmala Sitharaman.
Retaliating to Congress's allegations, the Raksha Mantri, on Monday during her speech in Lok Sabha, laid all doubts to rest by stating facts and figures on the HAL contracts.
"In 2019, regarding procurement order regarding HAL, I had mentioned that there are 83 LCA Tejas fighters order worth Rs 50,000 crores, 15 combat helicopters order worth Rs 3,000 crores, 200 orders worth Rs 20,000 crore and 19 Dornier transport aircraft worth Rs 3,400 crores, helicopters worth Rs 15,000 crore and aero-engines worth Rs 8,400 crores. The total comes to Rs 1 lakh crore," Raksha Mantri said in the Lok Sabha.
Meanwhile, BJP president Amit Shah, in December 2018, revealed the seat-sharing arrangement for the Lok Sabha elections with Bihar allies, stating that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) will contest 17 seats each, while Ram Vilas Paswan-led LJP will fight on the remaining six.