CPI-M demands JPC probe into 36 Rafale jets deal

Politics

New Delhi, Dec 17 The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) on Monday pressed for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the 36 Rafale fighter jets deal with Frances Dassault Aviation.

Terming the Rs 59,000-crore deal a “mega scam”, the CPI-M said the Narendra Modi government was trying to “hide behind half truths and lies”. 

The party has put forth 10 points which it said needed to be probed.

“Prime Minister Modi announced the deal for 36 aircraft on April 10, 2015, whereas the Defence Minister-headed Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) only accepted that the IAF needed 36 Rafale jets on May 13, 2015. 

“There is no official communication from the IAF or the Ministry of Defence (MoD) about 36 jets before Prime Minister made the announcement. How was the decision announced even before the government accepted that IAF needed 36 Rafale jets?” it said. 

The party also demanded to know as to in what capacity National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval became part of the deal negotiating team in Paris on January 12-13, 2016, as also why the government signed the deal with no sovereign or a bank guarantee.

“Eurofighter, which had qualified during the MMRCA (Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) trials in 2011 along with Rafale, had offered a 20 per cent discount to India over its bid price. Why did India not insist on a similar discount for Rafale or explore the option of going for Eurofighter instead?” it said.

It further said that the “multiple objections” made by “three members of the Indian negotiating team” about the Rafale deal — and which were overruled by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by the Prime Minister — should be made public for transparency. – IANS

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