National

Rafale: Congress steps up attack

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 09, 2021

AICC general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala

Continuing to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale deal, the Congress alleged on Friday that the loss to the exchequer because of the contract is at least ₹21,075 crore. The party said there was a criminal breach of national security and demanded an explanation from the Centre.

Citing the documents accessed by French media house Mediapart.fr, AICC general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala told reporters on Friday that the ‘Indian Negotiating Team’ arrived at a benchmark cost of €5.06 billion for 36 Rafale fighter jets including weaponry package. “Isn’t it correct that the price of €7.87 billion for 36 aircrafts was decided by Dassault Aviation in its internal meeting dated January 20, 2016? Isn’t it correct that the Indian team had rejected this price calculation of €7.87 Billion for 36 aircrafts, the very next day?,” he asked.

He said the Narendra Modi government accepted the pricing as decided by Dassault in their internal meeting and the contract was awarded to Dassault. “What was the quid pro quo for accepting the price of €7.87 billion when Defence Ministry itself had calculated the cost at €5.06 billion price?” What is the reason for additional payment of €2.81 billion (₹21,075 crore) causing loss to the public exchequer ? Isn’t it more than prima facie evidence for an investigation into Rafale scam?” Surjewala demanded.

He asked how can a private individual and middlemen be so powerful as to influence the decisions of Modi Government in India’s biggest Defence deal. “Does it not require a thorough independent investigation?,” Surjewala asked.

Maintaining that the Supreme Court is not the platform to decide and investigate corruption in the Rafale deal, the party reiterated its demand for an impartial thorough investigation when more than prima facie evidence of corruption, treason, national security breach is out there in the open for everyone to see, it alleged.

Published on April 09, 2021

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