In its pursuit to further corner the Narendra Modi government over the Rafale deal, the Congress on Monday said it will push for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the fighter jet deal. The party said it will also raise the issue of the alleged misuse of the electronic voting machines (EVMs) during the Parliament’s winter session which commences on Tuesday.
The senior party leader, Ghulam Nabi Azad, while interacting with the media said the party will also ask for discussion on “misuse of investigative agencies” by the Centre to harass and target political rivals. Among other issues, it will also discuss the problems faced by farmers, depreciation of the rupee, rise in the prices of petroleum products, security of women and “erosion of RBI autonomy.”
“We have been demanding for a long time that there should be a JPC probe in the Rafale scam but the government has failed to take a decision. We have again urged it to form a JPC,” said Azad, adding that it was important for a democracy that voters have faith in EVMs.
“But unfortunately since the BJP came to power, people have lost faith in EVMs because the ruling party is misusing them. In the recent Assembly polls, this crossed all limits. EVM machines were found in houses, hotels, on roads, they were being taken unprotected in buses and jeeps,” he said.
“There is a big doubt, a question mark whether elections were free and fair or being held under the watch of the government.”
Underlining the concern over the reliability of EVMs he said, “If democracy is to survive, the EVM issue has to be settled, the credibility of EVM has to be established.”
Azad said the Congress wants Parliament to run smoothly and bills to be passed but there should be a discussion on issues concerning people.
“We have told the government that the houses will run, we will help pass the bills but simultaneously the issues facing people should be discussed.”
(With agency inputs)