Govt has given Rafale price details to CAG, says Nirmala Sitharaman

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said the Narendra Modi government has submitted the price details of the Rafale fighter jets to the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), and said it appealed to the Supreme Court to resolve the "interpretation problem" that has arisen over the government affidavit. 

The BJP kicked off its plan to address 70 press conferences across India, with Sitharaman addressing a press conference in Mumbai. 

"We've given the price to the CAG, in a parliamentary system the CAG looks into it and then its report goes to PAC. The PAC will have a look at it and then it will become a public document. It is a process and it has commenced," Sitharaman said. 

"In the affidavit, we've given the data and the information. We think there is an interpretation problem, we would like you (court) to look at it and correct it. That's our appeal to the court, we'll wait for them to take the call," she said. 

The Congress will begin its 70 press conferences by pointing out the Modi government allegedly misled the Supreme Court on a “non-existent” CAG report on the Rafale issue. 

Union minister Smriti Irani, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath and Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani also addressed press conferences on the issue. 

In Parliament, Congress led other opposition parties to demand a joint parliamentary probe (JPC), into the Rafale issue. If three Lok Sabha members of the BJP moved a privilege motion against Congress President Rahul Gandhi for "misleading" the House on the Rafale issue in his speech during the debate on the no-confidence motion earlier this year, the Congress also moved a privilege motion in both Houses against the Modi government "misleading" the Supreme Court. 

Congress leader P Chidambaram said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's argument against a JPC probe into the Rafale deal was wrong as the government and Parliament have overruled Supreme Court verdicts in the past, most recently in the SC/ST Act. 

A day after DMK President M K Stalin proposed the name of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate, the Trinamool Congress said any such announcement would be premature. 

Rajya Sabha couldn't transact any business, while the Lok Sabha passed the transgender Bill, which had earlier been passed as a private member's bill by the Rajya Sabha.

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