A day after Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman refused to tell Parliament the cost per unit of the Rafale twin-engine fighter jet, Congress president Rahul Gandhi alleged that there is corruption in the deal and the Prime Minister was responsible as “Modiji personally got the deal done”.
“The Defence Minister is saying that we will not share details of money spent on buying the aircraft…I spoke during the Gujarat polls that there is a scam (in the Rafale deal). Modi ji has personally got the deal done,” Gandhi told reporters outside the Parliament.
He added, “Modi ji had personally gone to Paris. Personally the deal was changed. The entire India knows it. And the Defence Minister is saying she will not inform India, the martyrs and their relatives about the money spent on buying those aircraft. What does this mean? This only means there is some scam.”
Randeep Surjewala, communication in-charge, Congress, took to Twitter and blamed Modi government’s “lame duck diversionary tactics on Rafale deal” which has raised more questions.
Stepping up the pressure on the Centre, the Congress released a statement seeking answers from the government.
“Why did PM Modi not take the mandatory prior approval of ‘Cabinet Committee on Security’ before deciding to purchase 36 Rafale aircraft on 10th April, 2015?” asked Congress.
The Congress sought to know what transpired in 48 hours between 8th April to 10th April, 2015 whereby it was decided to announce purchase of 36 Rafale aircraft.
The Congress alleged that the Prime Minister violated the mandatory defence procurement procedure by taking a unilateral decision to buy aircraft from France despite absence of an inter-governmental agreement with the said country at the time.
In her answer to Parliament, the Defence Minister claimed that the secrecy pact between the governments of India and France prevented her from divulging the details.
“As per ‘Article-10’ of the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) between Government of India and Government of France on the purchase of Rafale aircraft, the protection of the classified information and material exchanged under IGA is governed by the provisions of the Security Agreement signed between the two nations in 2008,” said Sitharaman.
Rahul also urged the media to raise questions about the Rafale deal.
“You don’t like to ask questions on Rafale deal…I understand there is pressure on you, but show some spine. Ask questions about Rafale,” said Rahul.
SOURCE ; NEWS 18