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.
I don't think JPC or CAG inquiry is set up to satisfy 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&empowerment of Indian Forces:RS Prasad on Cong meeting CAG.#RafaleDeal.1/2 pic.twitter.com/2yo8VDlZxo— ANI (@ANI) September 19, 2018
# 13:22 pm: Memorandum by the Congress to the CAG:
Memorandum by the Congress party to the Comptroller Auditor General demanding an audit of the Rafale deal. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/plTZlh1GXt— Congress (@INCIndia) September 19, 2018
Memorandum by the Congress party to the Comptroller Auditor General demanding an audit of the Rafale deal. 2/2 pic.twitter.com/R1nOjXgHW2— Congress (@INCIndia) September 19, 2018
# 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.
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 Sharma after meeting of Congress delegation with Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) pic.twitter.com/mUGMap4VZc— ANI (@ANI) September 19, 2018
# 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”.
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.
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.