New Delhi: Left parties on Tuesday alleged that the Modi government had spun a “web of lies” to hide “corruption” and its “wrong doings” in the Rafale jet fighter deal.
The political row over the Rafale jet deal escalated on Tuesday with the Congress dismissing as ‘manufactured lies’ the claims by the Dassault CEO there was no wrong-doing and its chief Rahul Gandhi firing a fresh salvo at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The nation needs a “fair investigation” and not “doctored explanations” on the fighter jet deal, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said. He was responding to Dassault Aviation In a media interview, Eric Trappier claimed no wrong-doing in the Rs 58,000 crore deal, asserting it was a “clean deal” and that his company chose Reliance as an offset partner.
“‘Dictated Interviews’ and ‘manufactured lies’ cannot suppress the Rafale Scam. First rule of Law – Mutual Beneficiaries and Co-accused’s statements hold no value. Second Rule:-Beneficiaries and accused can’t be Judge in their own case. Truth has a way of coming out,” Surjewala said on Twitter.
“Fixed match between BJP Government and Dassault and PR Stunts of PM Modi and Eric Trappier can’t hide the blatant corruption,” he alleged.Taking a dig at the CEO’s claim, CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury said “cronies” of all kinds, from France to India, were trying to defend the Modi government on the issue and such efforts will go in vain.
“Modi government has resorted to a web of lies to hide the corruption in Rafale scam. Cronies of all kinds, from France to here in India, are out trying to defend the indefensible. But their lies have all been nailed,” the CPI(M) leader tweeted.
He alleged that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Centre had paid 40% more for each aircraft to Dassault Aviation, the manufacturer of the Rafale fighter jet.
“This proves that Modi government paid 40% more for each Rafale aircraft. This is the amount of corruption in the scam where Rs 59,000 crore of our money is involved,” Yechury said on Twitter.
The government has denied allegations of corruption in the deal.
The CPI (M) general secretary said the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, the Supreme Court and the CBI should answer the alleged corruption in the Rafale deal and not the CEO of the company that was part of the deal.
“These are questions the CAG, Supreme Court and CBI should answer. Not the French CEO of a company making money on this deal or the PM – all of whom are complicit in the corruption”, said Yechury.
French aerospace major Dassault Aviation has partnered with Reliance Defence Ltd for delivering 36 Rafale fighter jets to the Indian Air Force (IAF).
Reliance in previous statements has said the Indian government, French government, Dassault and Reliance have clarified on multiple occasions there is no offset contract for Rs 30,000 crore to Reliance as alleged by the Congress.
D Raja, national secretary of the CPI alleged that the Dassault CEO’s comment in an interview does not prove that there was no scam in the Rafale deal.
“Dassault Aviation is one of the parties in the Rafale scam. It is quite obvious that CEO of the company will try to give a clean picture over the deal. That is not true,” said Raja.
He added that constitution of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the Rafale deal, which opposition political parties have been demanding, would unearth the “wrong doings” by the Modi government in the deal.
“It was Prime Minister Modi who had bypassed both the Defence and External Affairs ministry in signing the fighter aircraft deal with France’s Dassault Aviation is mainly responsible for the Rafale scam”, added Raja.
The Centre on Monday had informed the Supreme Court that the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP), as laid out by the UPA in 2013, was “completely followed” in the procurement of the 36 jets from France and the deal was subsequently approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security(CCS).
(With PTI inputs)