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Congress to Take Attack on Rafale to CAG Today, Says Bound by Constitution to Probe Deal

The Congress claims Modi government has caused a loss of over Rs 41,000 crore to the exchequer by paying a higher price for the aircraft than what was negotiated by the UPA.

News18.com

Updated:September 19, 2018, 7:52 AM IST
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Congress to Take Attack on Rafale to CAG Today, Says Bound by Constitution to Probe Deal
File image of protests against the Rafale deal. (PTI photo)

New Delhi: To step up its attack on the Narendra Modi government over the Rafale fighter jet deal, the Congress will on Wednesday raise the issue with the Comptroller and Auditor General and demand a thorough probe into the controversial contract.

Sources said party leaders will meet CAG Rajiv Mehrishi around 11am.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the CAG and CVC are bounden by their constitutional duty to look at the entire deal and all its papers - whether or not somebody moves them.

The Congress has alleged corruption in the deal to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets from France's Dassault Aviation. It has alleged that the Modi government has caused a loss of over Rs 41,000 crore to the exchequer by paying a higher price for the aircraft than what was negotiated by the UPA.

"Congress Party at an appropriate time also intends to move an appropriate petition before CVC and CAG to expeditiously and quickly adhere to their constitutional duties," he said.

The Congress has asked why the government was not setting up a joint parliamentary committee to probe the fighter jet deal.

The party on Tuesday fielded former defence minister AK Antony to accuse his successor Nirmala Sitharaman of suppressing facts on the Rafale deal.

Antony rejected as "completely false" the charges of Sitharaman that an unprecedented intervention by him in 2013 had put the "final nail in the coffin" when the cost negotiation committee was giving final touches to the deal.

He accused Sitharaman of trying to tarnish the image of public-sector Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), both nationally and internationally

Sitharaman, however, rejected the allegations, saying all the details on it have already been placed before Parliament.

"AK Antony is a very senior leader. He is aware of the negotiations that took place in the Rafale deal. We have already informed the Parliament about the price of the aircraft. It is wrong on his part to say that we should have just bought 126 planes. That is not how it works," she said.

(With PTI inputs)

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