Former finance minister and Congress leader P Chidambaraam on Saturday, August 25, attacked the Narendra Modi Government over the Rafale fighter aircraft purchase deal, accusing it of bypassing several committees and ignoring the laid down procedure for procurement of defence equipment.
He also alleged the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) was not taken into confidence by the government before signing the deal.
“Why was the defence procurement procedure ignored in the Rafale deal… and why were the Contract Negotiation Committee and the Price Negotiation Committee kept in the dark about it? The Cabinet Committee on Security was also not taken into confidence,” he said, addressing a press conference at the Congress office in Kolkata.
He also reiterated the charge that there was a huge difference in the price per aircraft secured by the UPA regime and what was agreed to by the Narendra Modi government.
“The UPA contract priced the Rafale jets at Rs 526 crore per aircraft and the NDA contract priced them at Rs 1,670 crore per aircraft. If these numbers are correct, will someone explain why the prices jumped three times?” he asked.
He demanding a public debate and a detailed inquiry into the deal. “We think that the matter is serious enough that there should be a public debate and there should be a detailed inquiry. Which is why the Congress President and the party has raised it,” he was quoted by ANI as saying.
Earlier, last Saturday, Congress party decided to launch a month-long, nationwide campaign to corner the BJP government in the Centre over the Rafale aircraft deal. The party also urged other opposition parties to come together in order to mount a united attack on the centre.
“The manner and the fashion in which ‘Bhrashtachar Ka Khel Rafale’ was unveiled before this country, which cost over Rs 41,000-crore loss to the exchequer…The fact that a company belonging to a friend of the Prime Minister has been given a contract worth Rs 30,000 crore after snatching it from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) were all discussed,” Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala said at the time.
He said the Congress will hold demonstrations at block, district and state levels over the next 30 days and expose the BJP.
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