The Congress on Monday approached the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), and demanded the latter to seize all files and documents related to the Rafale deal and register an FIR into “India’s biggest defence scam”.
A Congress delegation including senior party members such as Ghulam Nabi Azad, Jairam Ramesh and Randeep Surjewala met the vigilance panel and sought a thorough scrutiny of the Rafale deal.
While alleging that the deal caused loss to the exchequer and endangered national security, the Congress claimed that there had been “illegal and undue benefit to crony friends” and violation of mandatory provisions of the Defence Procurement Procedure.
“Tracks of corruption are getting unravelled by the day with repeated disclosures getting no answers from the Defence Ministry… The stench of corruption and cronyism in the Rafale deal is nauseating, requiring urgent intervention of your good self ,” Congress said in its memorandum.
“The deliberate enrichment of private entity, Reliance Defence, at the cost of HAL, by award of a Rs 30,000-crore offset contract, as also Rs one lakh crore Life Cycle Contract without any tender and without following any mandatory requirement of the DPP tell a story of stark crony capitalism that needs to be investigated,” alleged the grand old party in its memorandum.
“The entire deal, its contours, nature of contract, absence of favouritism, corruption, crony capitalism, violation of law and procedures and the principles of level-playing field are all part of the CVC’s domain to examine and to return a finding,” it further said.
Meanwhile, Congress President Rahul Gandhi continued his tirade against the BJP government in Amethi with regard to “The Great Rafale Robbery” and said that he had questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the contract being snatched from HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) and given to a company which has no prior experience in manufacturing jets, and above all, had a debt of Rs. 45,000 crore.
Gandhi further said that because the Prime Minister is guilty he could answer his question and could not look him in the eye.
“The moment I looked Narendra Modi in the eye, he started looking here and there. The chowkidar of this country took Rs 30,000 crore from the pockets of soldiers and martyrs and put it in the pocket of Anil Ambani… that is why he couldn’t look me in the eye,” he said.
A new controversy erupted around the Rafale deal after reports quoting former French President Francois Hollande as saying that the Indian Government suggested the name of Reliance Defence and that the French Government had no say in it emerged.