Shiv Sena joins Oppn chorus for JPC on Rafale

Shiv Sena members Arvind Ganpat Sawant during the discussion on issues relating to Rafale deal, in the Lok Sabha in New Delhi. PTI

BJP ally Shiv Sena deserted it on the Rafale aircraft issue as it joined Opposition ranks in demanding a joint parliamentary committee investigation into the contentious defence deal.

The BJD, which had been seen as soft towards the BJP, also broke its silence on the issue and joined the Congress in raising doubts about the deal.

“We are an honest government, then why are we running away from a JPC probe? Why not have the JPC probe the deal,” Shiv Sena member Arvind Sawant said participating in the debate in the Rafale deal in the Lok Sabha.

“Why was the HAL deprived of the opportunity of building Rafale? Its former MD is on record to have said that the HAL has the know how to build these planes,” Sawant said much to the delight of Opposition benches.

Shiv Sena has a testy relationship with BJP, its ally of more than three decades. Last month, Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray had echoed Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Chowkidaar chor hai’ slogan much to the embarrassment of the BJP..

“Questions of probity and questions of procedure do exist. Questions arise on pricing. It is well known that Qatar has bought the same planes at much cheaper price,” BJD member Kailash Narayan Singh Deo said.

With these doubts lingering about the deal, the Parliamentarians could not be expected to be “mute spectators”, Deo said.

If Congress was singed by “murky defence deals” struck during its tenure, the BJP would face a similar fate in the future. TMC’s Saugata Roy also demanded the JPC in the Rafale deal.

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