CHENNAI: CPI leader D Raja Wednesday reiterated his party's demand for a JPC probe into the Rafale deal, asking why the NDA government was 'afraid' of facing the Joint Parliamentary Committe if there was no wrongdoing in the Indo-French pact.
The CPI National Secretary urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to "tell the truth," on the matter.
"Neither the Defence Minister (Nirmala Sitharaman) nor the External Affairs Minister (Sushma Swaraj) was involved when the deal was clinched. It was the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister alone who took the decision and decided the deal," he said.
"JPC is a parliamentary instrument and Parliament is supreme in our democracy. If there is nothing (wrong) they can very well accept JPC. Why are they afraid of it," he told PTI.
Raja's remarks came in response to Sitharaman once again ruling out a JPC probe into the Rafale deal Wednesday.
On the demand for a JPC probe into the Rafale deal while speaking to reporters here Wednesday, Sitharaman had said "it is not needed." Unlike the 2G issue, no institution like the Comptroller and Auditor General or even the Supreme Court said anything against Rafale, she noted.
The matter was debated in Parliament as well when members of the Opposition did not bother to listen when the government answered, she said.
Arguing that JPC for issues like the 2G Spectrum or Bofors were constituted in the past following aspects like money trail, she said it was however not the case with Rafale where there are no alleged middlemen like Ottavio Quattarocchi or money trail.
Raja said that while many things related to the deal were coming out in the public domain, with "many revelations" being made, the Prime Minister, however, has not spoken on it.
"But the Prime Minister has not yet spoken a word on the issue when serious charges are being made against him. He was not present during the debate in the Parliament," he said.
"Unless there is something to hide, why is the Prime Minister not speaking on the issue. What is the truth?. At least he has to tell the truth (on) what happened and why such a deal was clinched," Raja demanded.
On Congress President Rahul Gandhi appointing his sister Priyanga Vadra as AICC general secretary, UP East, Raja said it was that party's prerogative to make organisational appointments.
"It is their decision, their prerogative," much like that of BJP to have Amit Shah as its is National President, he added.