Upping the ante on the issue of the Rafale fighter jet deal, once again the congress party has sought for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) inquiry following the Cong President Rahul Gandhi’s demand on the issue.
Earlier on Tuesday, senior leader of Congress and former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupindar Singh Hooda along with PCC chief Sachin Pilot demanded an independent inquiry conducted by JPC on the Rafale deal issue while addressing a press conference in Jaipur.
The Cong leader even claimed that the Rafale aircraft deal, which was signed for Rs 526 crore per aircraft during the NDA regime, how the same deal has jumped up to Rs 1670 crore under the BJP government?
Rahil Gandhi attacked the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while addressing the press by saying Jaitley was blogging out but not saying anything on a probe by JPC.
Arun Jaitley also slammed the opposition leader on that issue, saying a parliamentary probe cannot be set up to satisfy the ego of an ‘ill-informed gentleman’.
The Cong leaders alleged that the Modi government had unilaterally decided to buy 36 Rafale aircrafts at a cost of 60,145 crore and termed the BJP initiative as ‘crony capitalism’.
Furthermore, they claimed that the government company HAL was kept out of one of the biggest defense offset contracts while it was given to a private company and claimed why BJP government kept the contract negotiation committee and price negotiation committee in the sidelines.
Moreover, meeting of council of minister was also organized just two days before the agreement was made while the cabinet committee of security was also kept in dark.
The BJP government had rejected the opposition party Congress’ demand for joint parliamentary committee inquiry. Hours after National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and defense secretary Sanjay Mitra’s presentation on the deal to the Council of Ministers, Jaitley dismissed congress’s allegations of favoritism in the aircraft deal.
While briefing the press, Jaitley said that Congress has proved that in dynastic parties, ignorance is contagious. If one person lacks understanding then the whole party lacks it.
The Finance Minister even emphasized the NDA government’s defense equipment importing issue, adding NDA government had moved from a policy of defense equipment import to one where local manufacturing is encouraged.
Arun Jaitley termed it as ‘backwardness’, while hitting out the opposition leaders he alleged that it was the backwardness in Congress’ thinking that favored an import-led model, which is also prone to kickbacks like in the Bofors deal. Meanwhile, Modi government’s decision to allow 100 percent FDI soon after assuming office had resulted in alliances between private sector giants such as TATAs, Mahindras, Bharat Forge and L&T along with overseas players like Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
Moreover, Jaitley stated that 36 planed would be made in France. There is no scope for any private firm. Not a screw is to be fitted in India. As large firms are coming to India now, such kind of manufacturing has started for the first time. BJP government’s policy is that defense PSUs keep getting more orders, while NDA government followed a policy where you buy from foreign private players without involving an Indian player. And here Modi governments totally disagree with Congress on this.
Meanwhile, the Vice Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal SN Deo welcomed the decision of BJP government by saying “It’s a beautiful and a very capable aircraft… we are waiting to fly it. So, those criticizing the Rafale deal must understand the laid down norms and procurement procedure.”
He also said that this aircraft deal will give India unprecedented combat capabilities.
The Congress party raised several questions about the deal, including rates of the aircraft, while BJP government has rejected the charges.