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Cong raises Rafale issue; Govt says don't run away from debate

Cong raises Rafale issue; Govt says don't run away from debate

(Eds: Recasting intro) New Delhi, Dec 31 (PTI) A belligerent Congress Monday again sought to raise the issue of alleged scam in the Rafale deal in the Lok Sabha, inviting a sharp reaction from the government that the Opposition should not "run away" from a debate on the issue.Congress members have been raising the matter since the start of the Winter Session of Parliament on December 11, demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the Rafale deal.During the Zero Hour, party members trooped into the Well displaying placards and shouting slogans on the issue.Raising the matter, senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge alleged there has been a scam in the deal and asked why the government was not disclosing the price of jets.He also demanded a JPC probe amid loud protests from BJP members.In response, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said repeating the same lie again and again would not make it a truth.The government is ready for discussion on the matter but why is the Congress "running way", the minister asked.UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi was present in the House.The Opposition has also been raising the issue outside Parliament.At 2.00 PM, when the House was to take up discussion on Supplementary Demands for Grants, Kharge once again demanded a JPC to probe the Rafale deal.At this, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said Kharge should begin the discussion on the issue immediately and asserted that the government was ready to give a reply.Kharge, he said, was "running away" from discussion.Stressing that there should a discussion on Rafale deal, Jaitley said he would prove that the Congress party was spreading lies over the deal. PTI RAM KR SID NAB TVS RAM BALBAL