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Rafale Deal: Congress Accuses Modi Govt Of Compromising ‘National Interests’ and ‘National Security’

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| February 6 , 2018 , 19:15 IST

The Congress party on Tuesday accused the Modi Government of compromising with the National Interest and National Security and said a huge scam was brewing in the procurement of fighter aircrafts for Indian Air Force.

Senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, Randeep Singh Surjewala and Prof. Rajeev Gowda addressed a press conference at the Parliament.

“Modi government is indulging in an unforgivable game of compromising ‘National Interests’ and ‘National Security’. A ‘huge Scam’ is brewing in the procurement of fighter aircrafts for Indian Air Force. Grave apprehensions and claims of insurmountable loss being caused to public exchequer are in public domain with the government refusing to state the truth.” Congress' Chief Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday told the Rajya Sabha that details like the per-aircraft cost cannot be shared, as India has a secrecy pact that applies to the deal.

“As per ‘Article-10’ of the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) between Government of India and Government of France on the purchase of Rafale aircraft, the protection of the classified information and material exchanged under IGA is governed by the provisions of the Security Agreement signed between the two nations in 2008,” the minister stated replying to a question in the upper house.

The Congress party in a series of questions asked the PM and the Govt to reveal the price per aircraft.

“Is it correct that per aircraft pricing of Rafale as per UPA negotiation comes to US$ 80.95 million (Rs.526.1 crore) as against Modi government’s per aircraft negotiated price of US$ 241.66 million (Rs.1570.8 crore) as per current exchange rate? Who is responsible for ‘loss to exchequer’?” Congress asked.

The Grand old party alleged that the price of the same aircraft sold to Qatar is nearly 100% cheaper than India. Congress leaders said that the decision to purchase 36 Rafale jets was taken unilaterally by the Prime Minister and that no procedures were followed in the procurement.

Addressing the Press Conference Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad stated that on 8th April 2015 Foreign Secretary denied any proposal regarding purchase of Rafale Aircrafts during PM Modi’s visit to France.

“Will Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi tell the Nation as to what transpired in 48 hours between 8th April to 10th April, 2015 whereby it was decided to announce purchase of 36 Rafale Aircrafts?” he questioned.