New Delhi, Sep 28 (PTI) The Congress Friday dubbed media reports about NCP chief Sharad Pawar giving “clean chit” to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Rafale deal as “false and unfounded”, and claimed it was a conspiracy to create a rift between the two parties. Also Read - Makki ki Roti With Maggi! Netizens Try Weird Food Combination During Lockdown

The remarks by Pawar led to NCP leader and MP Tariq Anwar quitting the party. Also Read - Delhi Bursts Crackers to Celebrate Coronavirus Like Diwali After Misunderstanding PM's '9 Baje 9 Minute' Requests - Check Tweets

According to Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, Pawar clarified to Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge that he had not made any such statement as the NCP favoured the demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the deal. Also Read - Ahead of 9-Minute-9-PM Challenge, Netizens Flood Internet With Hilarious Memes

Surjewala said the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief held detailed discussion with Kharge and made it clear that “this is untrue and unfounded”.

“It is a conspiracy being hatched to create a rift between the parties,” he told reporters.

In an interview to a Marathi news channel earlier this week, Pawar said that he didn’t think that people have doubts about Modi’s intentions in the Rafale deal.

Later, the NCP clarified that Pawar had not given any clean chit to Modi on the Rafale issue, and reiterated its demands that the central government disclose the price of the fighter jets and order a JPC probe.

“Pawar-ji also expressed surprise that those who hatched the Bofors conspiracy on one false statement, why they are fearing from giving a reply on the price of Rafale aircraft and the JPC is the only answer to it,” Surjewala said.

NCP supremo’s daughter Supriya Sule took to Twitter and said, “It’s disappointing that people have not heard Sharad Pawar Saheb where he has clearly raised three questions: what is the justification for a 300 per cent price increase from Rs 526 crore to Rs 1,670 crore which potentially could be a significant loss to the exchequer?” “If such doubts have been raised and the government is so confident, then why are they shying from setting up a JPC? When the BJP raised both price and specification issues during the Bofors allegations, then why are they hiding behind artificial justification of secrecy of agreements vis-a-vis both commercial price and offset agreements,” Sule tweeted.

On speculation about Tariq Anwar joining the Congress, Surjewala said the question should be asked to Anwar.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.