The Congress on Thursday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of compromising national interests on the Rafale issue, with party chief Rahul Gandhi alleging that the latest skeleton to tumble out of the “Rafale cupboard” is that there is no guarantee by the French government backing the deal.
“The latest skeleton to tumble out of the RAFALE cupboard: No Guarantee by the French Government backing the deal. BUT, our PM says there’s a letter from the French promising to be faithful. That’s enough to call this a ‘Government to Government’ deal?” he wrote on Twitter.
Echoing his party president, chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, while addressing a press conference, said the only forum to investigate acts of omission, commission and corruption in the “biggest defence scam” of India is to have a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe.
“PM Modi has gone as far as to sabotage his own nation’s interests in favour of his crony capitalist friends,” Mr Surjewala said, adding, “PM Modi enhanced the ‘benchmark price’ for Rafale by Euro 3 billion i.e `22,743 crores. Sudhanshu Mohanty, head of finance, ministry of defence (uptil May 2016) has ‘spilled the beans’ indicting the Modi government for corrupt practices in fixing a higher ‘benchmark price’ i.e from Euro 5.2 billion (`39,422 crore) to Euro 8.2 billion (`62,166 crore) for Rafale aircrafts.”
The government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that no “sovereign guarantee” was given by the French government on the deal for procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets.
The French government has, however, given a “letter of comfort” to India which would be good enough “governmental guarantee”, Attorney General Mr. K K Venugopal told the court. On Wednesday the Congress claimed that the French government has never done a government-to-government contract on defence and such a deal has only been done in the United States under the Foreign Military Sales route (FMS). “This is not a government-to-government contract,” adding that there is no such procedure in France.