Modi government squandered national interest in Rafale deal: Congress

Politics

New Delhi,   The Congress on Friday questioned the Modi government’s “silence” on the “fresh evidence” in the Rafale “scam” and said it is a precursor “of the storm which they are about to face.”

The party also accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “squandering national interest” in the deal to purchase 36 fighter jets from France.

“Today another undisputable evidence has come to the fore, which establishes the deliberately hiked commercial cost of the 36 Rafale aircraft deal signed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April 2015. The silence of Modi Government on the new skeletons that have tumbled out of the Rafale scam cupboard is a precursor to a massive storm,” Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera told the media here.

He said Modi cannot escape from “his moral, political, legal and constitutional responsibility and accountability in the biggest defence scam of India.”

“For truth to prevail, the only route is through a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe,” he said.

Khera said the “management meet note” of ICICI bank of February 28, 2017 again exposes the commercial cost of Rafale deal as well as again seals the cost of offset contract and life cycle cost contract.

“This is the sixth proof in public domain which testifies, that the per aircraft cost in Modi’s deal is Rs 1,670 crore and that, flouting all norms, the Modi government handed over a Rs 30,000-crore offset contract,” Khera said.

Referring to management meet note, he said it states that Reliance Defence has already formed a joint venture with French major Dassault for execution of offset obligations, as a part of the 36 Rafale fighter jet purchase valued at Rs 59,000 crore.

“The offset obligation in this contract is pegged at 50 per cent of the total cost, i.e. Rs 29500 crore. The management has pegged this opportunity from the Rafale programme at Rs 105,000 crore. Dassault Reliance JV will provide performance-based logistics for 50 years (scope includes maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrades). If awarded, it is also expected to execute additional orders of Rafale fighter aircraft for Indian armed forces under the Make in India programme,” he said reading from the note.

Khera said the annual report 2016 of Dassault Aviation had revealed the cost of per aircraft and offset obligations by Reliance Defence.

He referred to some other documents and alleged that a former Finance Minister official had “spilled the beans indicting the Modi government for corrupt practices in fixing a higher benchmark price.”

“Now a third party document has reiterated the same figures of the commercial cost of the 36 Rafale deal,” Khera said.

“What is stopping the Modi government from revealing the commercial cost of the Rafale Deal as well as the details of offset obligations?” he asked.  – IANS

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