New Delhi: Amid war of words between the treasury benches and the opposition over the Rafale jets deal issue, the Congress on Monday said in Lok Sabha that it is ready for a debate on the controversial matter on January 2, 2019.
“Jaitley ji has thrown a challenge ... We are ready for a debate on January 2. Please decide a time,” Congress Leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said.
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi was present in the House when Mr Kharge made the comments. He made these remarks soon after the House gave its nod to additional gross expenditure of `85,948.86 crore during the current fiscal ending March 2019.
At 2 pm, when the House was to take up discussion on Supplementary Demands for Grants, Mr Kharge repeated his demand for a joint parliamentary committee to probe the Rafale deal.
At this, finance minister Arun Jaitley said Mr Kharge should begin the discussion on the issue immediately and asserted that the government was ready to give a reply. Mr Kharge, he said, was “running away” from discussion.
Stressing that there should a discussion on Rafale deal, Mr Jaitley said he would prove that the Congress party was spreading lies over the deal.
When the House was about to be adjourned for the day, Mr Kharge reminded Speaker Sumitra Mahajan of the debate and sought a time for it. Ms Mahajan said she will decide on the timing but Kharge can’t extract a decision on the date and time immediately. “You keep your challenges to yourself. Don’t challenge me,” a peeved Mahajan said....