Rafale deal: Congress to insist on JPC probe

Narendra Modi and Anand Sharma

Kochi: Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma Sunday alleged the Rafale fighter jet deal was the “biggest defence purchase scam” of the century and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was directly answerable. He also said the Congress would press the Comptroller and Auditor General to scrutinise the deal.

This is the biggest defence purchase scam of the century. The Prime Minister is directly answerable. He talks on every subject on earth. But he goes on maun vrat when we ask him on Rafale…the Prime Minister himself is complicit, Sharma alleged at a press conference here.

Referring to a delegation of the Congress, including himself, meeting the CAG over the Rafale deal and the party taking up the issue with the Central Vigilance Commission, he said once the auditor’s report was received, Congress would insist on a Joint Parliamentary Committee to look into it.

This was required to fix “accountability of the government and the Prime Minister over the deal,” Sharma, the deputy leader of Congress in the Rajya Sabha, said. Congress has alleged that the government was “unforgivably guilty” of causing loss to the public exchequer worth Rs 41,205 crore in the purchase of 36 ‘Made in France’ Rafale aircraft, ‘off the shelf’ without ‘Transfer of Technology.’

The government had said it does not think a JPC or a CAG audit is set up to satisfy the “ego of an ill-informed leader” who repeats lies with alarming regularity, in an apparent dig at Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.