Cong alleges scam in Rafale deal,demands disclosure of details

The Congress today accused the NDA government of compromising national interest and security with the Rafale fighter aircraft deal, saying that a scam "was brewing" as there was no transparency in the negotiations.

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the government is not ready to disclose the price of the Rafale aircraft in Parliament, which raises doubts on its intent.

"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 aircraft for Indian Air Force," he alleged

"Grave apprehensions and claims of insurmountable loss being caused to public exchequer are in public domain with the government refusing to state the truth," Azad told reporters.

At a joint briefing with Congress communications incharge Randeep Surjewala and party spokesperson Rajeev Gowda, the leaders said it is time the prime minister answers eight questions posed by the Congress on the Rafale deal, on which the government has adopted "a complete and studied silence".

They alleged "complete non-transparency in disclosure of purchase price of aircraft, flagrant violation of the mandatory provisions of 'Defence Procurement Procedure' and prior clearance from 'Cabinet Committee on Security'".

These factors and "sacrificing national interests on 'Transfer of Technology' and blatant promotion of financial interests of 'crony capitalist friends' by prime minister have marred the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft by Modi government from Dassault Aviation of France," the joint statement said.

The Congress leaders also accused the Modi government of adopting "lame duck diversionary tactics" on the Rafale deal, saying it is time the prime minister answers questions of the people of India.

Azad said the government must disclose the price of 36 fighter aircraft which Modi purchased off-the-shelf during his visit to France in violation of the set procedures.

He alleged that as per information the per aircraft price during NDA comes to Rs 1570.8 crore, against Rs 526.1 crore negotiated during the UPA.

He also said "while the aircraft was sold for Rs 694.8 crore to Qatar by the same company, why was it sold for 100 per cent more price to India".

"Why are prime minister and defence minister hiding the purchase price?" he asked.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)