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Congress leaders meet CAG to demand audit in Rafale 'scam'; BJP hits back

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Nabanita Chakorborty | Updated on: 19 Sep 2018, 02:49:26 PM
Congress meets CAG over 'scam' in Rafale deal today (Photo Source: PTI)

New Delhi:

A Congress delegation on Wednesday reached out to CAG, demanding a thorough probe against the Narendra Modi government over the alleged scam in infamous Rafale fighter aircraft deal with France. Senior party leader Ahmed Patel, Ghulam Nabi Azad, AK Antony and Anand Sharma are part of the delegation.

The delegation consisting of top Congress leaders is scheduled to meet the Comptroller and Auditor General Wednesday morning on the Rafale issue, accusing Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman of doing flip-flops on secrecy close.

The Rafale deal refers to the Modi government's multi-crore business agreement to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets from France's Dassault Aviation. It's been quite long time now that Congress president Rahul Gandhi has been alleging a scam in Rafale fighter jet deal, which has reportedly caused a loss of over Rs 41,000 crore to the exchequer.

According to the Congress, the BJP-led NDA government has paid a higher price for the aircraft than what was negotiated by the UPA.

Here are the Highlights on Congress-CAG meet over alleged 'scam' in Rafale deal:

# 13:27 pm: I do not think JPC or CAG inquiry is set up to satisfy the ego of ill-informed leader. What struck me more is that Mr Anthony, who was Defence Minister for 8 yrs during which nothing can be done for modernisation and empowerment of Indian Forces: Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Congress-CAG meeting.

# 13:22 pm: Memorandum by the Congress to the CAG:

# 13:11 pm: The Congress party delegation today met the CAG and demanded an audit into the Rafale scam, says Randeep Surjewala, Incharge Communications AICC. 

# 12:12 pm: We submitted a detailed memorandum along with enclosures which very clearly establishes irregularities in Rafale purchase. We hope that the matter will be looked into by CAG: Anand Sharm after meeting with CAG.

# 11:31 am: The Congress delegation includes senior leaders Ahmed Patel, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.

# 11:30 am: Congress leaders reach CAG office to demand probe in Rafale fighter jet scam.

On Wednesday, upping the ante against the Modi government, Antony once again raised the Rafale issue and demanded a JPC probe, saying “there is a growing perception that the Modi government’s Rafale deal has more skeletons in its closet”.

Read | Rafale jets will help in filling gap of combat capabilities of IAF: Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa

The veteran leader also claimed that contrary to Sitharaman’s charge, contract negotiations were almost over before UPA demitted office, and PM Modi, after being elected to office, announced a unilateral purchase of 36 aircraft on April 10, 2015.

“Congress demands that the government publish the price of Congress-UPA’s deal of 126 aircraft and the price of its 36 jets, including per aircraft price,” he said.

The Congress also claimed that if the UPA deal had not been cancelled, HAL would have acquired state-of-the-art technology through transfer-of-technology (ToT) and would have gained experience to manufacture fighter aircraft. “India lost this opportunity,” Antony stated.

Briefing the media over Wednesday's CAG meet, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala earlier said the CAG and CVC are bounded by their constitutional duty and hence will look at the entire deal and all its papers - whether or not somebody moves them.

"Congress Party at an appropriate time also intends to move an appropriate petition before CVC and CAG to expeditiously and quickly adhere to their constitutional duties," Surjewala was quoted as saying.

Read | PM Modi is lying to nation on Rafale deal, alleges Rahul Gandhi

The Congress wanted the Modi government to set up a joint parliamentary committee to probe the fighter jet deal. Sitharaman, however, has rejected the demand saying all the details on it have already been placed before Parliament.

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First Published : 19 Sep 2018, 07:19:19 AM