Congress seeks full probe into Rafale deal

Congress seeks full probe into Rafale deal

Agency News

Imphal, Sep 3: The Congress party today demanded a JPC probe into the Rafale deal to find out the full facts.

CLP leader Okram Ibobi, CWC members Gaikhangam, Gaurav Gogoi, Congress President TN Haokip and other Congress leaders, addressing a press conference here today at Congress office, alleged that a new deal was struck by hiking the price three times.

Gaurav Gogoi said, the deal was finalised by the UPA government with Dassault Aviation of France at Rs 526 crore, however, it was increased to Rs 1670.70 crore by the Narendra Modi government. The same aircraft was sold to Egypt and Qatar at Rs 1,319.80 crore. It was alleged that the PM violated the mandatory Defence Procurement Procedure while announcing the purchase of 36 Rafale aircrafts. Mandatory approval of Cabinet Committee on Security was also not taken.

The Modi government also promoted a private company over a Public Sector undertaking during the deal. The Reliance Company was given the offset contract bypassing the Hal even thought the company had no earlier experience in the matter, it was stated.

The government was asked to disclose the price as in all earlier deals prices were revealed in the House and other forums. Gogoi said the BJP government is "blocking, diverting and running away from the issue by hiding behind the Reliance Company". The Opposition leaders questioning the matter were served legal notices by the company. Gogoi said it is an attempt to bury the truth.

It is also a betrayal of the Indian defence forces and the government is propagating crony capitalism, it was charged. Tax payers money was misused while the government was squandering people’s money to help people like Nirav Modi and other big businessmen, it was also stated. The Congress party will look into the whole deal after it comes back to power after the next elections, Gogoi said.

The Congress party also distributed a leaflet about the Rafale Scam in which it was alleged that the deal was a sordid saga of causing loss to public exchequer, squandering nationals interests. National security was compromised by reducing the purchase order from required 126 aircrafts to 36. The government also deliberately ignored the price reduction offer by 20 per cent of Euro fighter Typhoon and by not calling for fresh bids to get the lowest price. (UNI)