Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today rejected the demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to look into the Rafale jet deal, saying it is unlike the 2G Spectrum or Bofors issues where aspects like the money trail surfaced.
"It is not needed," she said.
Unlike the 2G issue, no institution like the Comptroller and Auditor General said anything against the Rafale deal, she added.
The matter even reached the Supreme Court which expressed its satisfaction, be it process involved or the price, she said.
Later, the issue was debated in the Parliament as well when members of the Opposition did not even bother to listen when the government answered them point by point, the defence minister 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, she said.
"However, it was not the case with Rafale where there are no middle men like Quattarocchi or the money trail."
"You know the extent of media coverage (on Bofors) during that period (1988-89). Why it halted abruptly? Who tried to muzzle?" Ms Sitharaman asked.
She alleged the Congress party asked media outlets to not publish anything on Bofors during the late 1980s.
She said following the Congress' diktat, "no one opened their mouth," and "such people" are now indulging in "false propaganda" against the government on Rafale jet 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."
However, they are now crying hoarse that freedom of expression has been "infringed" under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rule, she said.
Disclaimer: NDTV has been sued for 10,000 crores by Anil Ambani's Reliance Group for its coverage of the Rafale deal.
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