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News18 Daybreak | CAG Report on Rafale Deal Expected in Parliament Today and Other Stories You Need to Watch Out For

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Updated:February 12, 2019, 10:15 AM IST
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News18 Daybreak | CAG Report on Rafale Deal Expected in Parliament Today and Other Stories You Need to Watch Out For
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What to Watch Out For

CAG report on controversial Rafale deal expected to be tabled in Lok Sabha

The much awaited Comptroller and Auditor General’s findings report on the Rafale deal is expected to be tabled in the Lok Sabha on Monday amid allegations of conflict of interest and bias in its preparation.

Officials working with the CAG report have told CNN-News18 that a copy of the report is with the President and three copies are with the Finance Ministry. The report will be sent to the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha after being sanctioned by the President.

What it will enclose: Details of the Rafale fighter jet deal between India and France will be listed in the report which is said to be two volumes long. According to sources, volume one deals with 10 air acquisitions while volume two deals with the Rafale deal.

The price of the 36 fighter jets, acquired as a part of the deal, has however been redacted on the grounds of national security and a non-disclosure clause in the agreement, a CAG official said.

Controversies rife: Only two days after a report in The Hindu shed light on the possibility of the Prime Minister’s Office running “parallel negotiations” with France, a second report on Monday claimed that the BJP-led government had waived off critical provisions for anti-corruption penalties.

According to The Hindu report, the government had overruled financial advisers’ recommendations for making payments through an escrow account just days before it signed the inter-governmental agreement with France to acquire 36 Rafale jets

He said, she said: Congress leader P Chidambaram responded to the report in a series of tweets. “The Rafale deal is unravelling faster than the government thought…No sovereign guarantee, no bank guarantee, no escrow account, yet a huge amount was paid as advance," Chidambaram wrote.

BSP supremo Mayawati also shared her two bits on the matter by drawing on the ever-popular “chowkidar-chor” analogy. “Corruption & corrupt defence deal, No problem! Chowkidar is important for the BJP/RSS, not his honesty? (sic),” she tweeted.

BJP spokesperson, G V L Narasimha Rao, however dismissed the two reports as “wild accusations” saying, “it must be stated that there have never been any sovereign guarantees ever from any country in defence purchases in India… Minor deviations of procedure are being portrayed as major lapses in procedure.”

Priyanka Gandhi expected to hold strategy meetings after grand debut on Monday

After making her debut in Uttar Pradesh’s political arena as the Congress General secretary with a mega road show, Priyanka Gandhi is now all set to get down to work. The All India Congress Committee’s General Secretary for UP East is expected to hold several strategy meetings with members of the Congress Committee on the second day of her four-day visit to Lucknow.

The road show on Monday was a spectacle to say the least and saw the Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and UP West in-charge Jyotiraditya Scindia parade through a 25-km stretch from the airport to the party headquarters, atop a bus.

At the end of the four-and-a-half hour long roadshow, Rahul Gandhi addressed enthusiastic party workers at the state Congress office. "Their (Priyanka and Scindia) aim is definitely the Lok Sabha elections, but also to bring a Congress government here (UP)," he said, adding "the Congress began its journey from Uttar Pradesh and it cannot remain weak in the state...Congress has to improve performance in UP in the LS polls and form government in the next assembly elections," he said. Interestingly, the Priyanka Gandhi did not address the crowd during the show or at the Congress office thereafter.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi along with Priyanka Gandhi and Jyotiraditya Scindia in Lucknow. (Image: PTI)

Controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill to be tabled in Rajya Sabha today

The controversial Citizenship Bill will be tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday even as the Northeast burns in protests. The bill, which seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, was cleared by the Lok Sabha on January 8. Several parties and organisations have claimed that it will have an adverse impact on the demography of the sensitive border state.

On Monday, Bhupen Hazarika’s son Tej Hazarika stopped short of turning down the Bharat Ratna that was awarded to his father in protest against the bill. “I have not received any invitation so far there is nothing to reject, and how the Centre moves on this matter (the bill) far outweighs in importance the awarding and receiving of such national recognition—a display of short-lived cheap thrills,” said Tej Hazarika in statement accessed by CNN-News18.

Robert Vadra and mother to appear before ED in Jaipur in Bikaner land scam probe

Businessman Robert Vadra and his mother Maureen Vadra will appear before the Enforcement Directorate in Jaipur today over the Bikaner land scam case. Just last week, Vadra, who is Priyanka Gandhi’s husband, was questioned for 24 hours over the course of three days by the ED in connection with a probe into allegations of money laundering in purchase of assets in London.
Last month the Rajasthan High Court had directed Vadra and partners of his company Skylight Hospitality Private to cooperate with ED on the probe. According to the chargesheets that was filed by the Rajasthan Police, land allotted for the resettlement of people, was fraudently taken in collusion with the state government and then sold. The interrogation is slated to begin at 10 am today.

What You May Have Missed

Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy orders SIT probe day after Yedyurappa admits that voice in “bribery” audio tape was his

Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy has ordered an SIT probe into the alleged bribery tapes following the assembly session on Monday where the allegations took centre stage in the debate. On Friday, Kumaraswamy had released two tapes allegedly of the BJP state president trying to lure JDS MLA Naganagouda through his son Sharana Gouda with the promise of money and position. Initally dismissing the audio tape as “fake”, the former chief minister on Sunday admitted that it was his voice on the clip, but accused Kumaraswamy of writing the script for the recording.

File photos of Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy and former CM BS Yeddyurappa.

The past month has been one of crisis and conflict for the JD(S)-Congress coalition government over possible horse trading by the opposition BJP camp.

News18 Elections Lab: Paisa, Poll and Politics - More the money, brighter the chances of winning an election

Winning an election is not just a matter of smiles and rhetoric, but a serious monetary investment. Although not every a party can afford to splurge that much money on a candidate, the Great Indian Election can still promise its fair share of crorepati candidates. But can a candidate’s wealth affect the number of votes she/he can garner? Read Fazil Khan analysis in the second instalment in the four-part series Paisa, Poll and Politics.

Former interim CBI chief Nageswar Rao apologises to SC for transferring lead investigator in Muzzafarpur shelter home rape case

Former interim CBI chief M Nageswar Rao has tendered an unconditional apology to the Supreme Court for transferring the senior most investigating officer of the Muzzaffarpur shelter home rape cases saying he “cannot even dream of violating the court orders”. On February 7, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had come down heavily on Rao as well as the in-charge of the Director of Prosecution in transferring Sharma despite there being two categorical orders by the apex court, prohibiting transfer of Sharma without the court’s permission. Sharma was shifted out as part of the overnight mass transfer that followed the public feud between the agency's former chief Alok Verma and his deputy Rakesh Asthana. The top court will hear the case on Tuesday.

Naidu joined by Opp’n leaders and Shiv Sena member in day-long fast

Taking his demand for special status for his state to the national capital, Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu staged a day-long fast that became a rallying point for opposition unity for the second time in less than a month to fight the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. The Andhra CM, who has locked horns with his former ally – the BJP, has been demanding special status for AP that was promised during the state bifurcation.

Naidu was also visited by Congress president Rahul Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and TMC leader Derek O' Brien, among other opposition leaders. In a surprise move, the BJP ally Shiv Sena sent its leader Sanjay Raut as its representative to the 'Dharma Porata Deeksha' (day-long protest for justice).

On Reel

Priyanka Gandhi made her political debut with a roadshow drawing thousands to see her in Lucknow, months before a general election is due to be held by May. News18 Explains Why Priyanka Gandhi's Roadshow Is Significant For Congress.

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