Cong claims scam in Rafale deal, says PM helping Reliance Defence
North Guj covered, Rahul to return for Ahmedabad tour Hardik good for nothing: Sardar’s great-grandnephew
TIMES New Delhi: Congress accused the Modi government of buying 36 Rafale aircraft at “highly inflated price” from what was negotiated by the UPA, also alleging that it was benefiting “crony capitalist friends” at the cost of a reputed public sector undertaking, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
Claiming that a “huge scam” was brewing in the bigticket defence purchase being finalised by the Centre, AICC spokesman Randeep Surjewala said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had bypassed the mandatory ‘defence procurement procedure’ for the purchase and had also forgone the clause for transfer of technology for the acquisition.
“Why did the PM promote the interests of one industrial group, Reliance Defence Limited, which has led to the company tying up and entering into a joint venture with Dassault Aviation worth Rs 30,000 crore? Why was this done by the PM, bypassing the interests of a reputed PSU like HAL?” Surjewala asked at a press conference, naming Congress
vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who had concluded his north Gujarat tour on Monday, will again address public meetings and rallies in the state. This time, Rahul is likely to hold public meetings in the eastern part of Ahmedabad which had witnessed violence during the Patidar quota stir in August 2015. Sources said Rahul will visit the city between November 16 and 19 when he is likely to address public rallies and hold discussions with party workers. During an informal interaction with journalists. industrialist Anil Ambani.
He said the joint venture for “the biggest ever Indian defence deal between Dassault Aviation and Reliance Defence Ltd” had not gone through the procedure of approval by the Union cabinet, Cabinet Committee on Security and Foreign Investment Promotion Board. Senior
Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil’s remark that Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) chief Hardik Patel has “DNA of Sardar Patel” has not gone down well with the descendants of India’s first deputy prime minister. A member of Sardar’s family termed the remark “loose” and said the PAAS leader was “good for nothing”.
“My great grandfather had done a lot of good work for the country, but no Congress leader ever appreciated that,” said Samir Patel, Sardar’s great-grandnephew.
Surjewala said the cost finalised for the purchase of 36 Rafale aircraft was Rs 60,000 crore. He claimed the UPA government had negotiated a $10.2 billion deal for acquiring 126 Rafale jets while the NDA government renegotiated the deal to commit $8.7 billion for just 36 fighters without the provision for transfer of technology.
“Is it not then correct that per aircraft pricing of Rafale as per UPA negotiation comes to Rs 526 crore as against Modi government’s per aircraft negotiated price of Rs 1,570 crore as per current exchange rate? Who is responsible for the loss to exchequer?” he asked.
Meanwhile, Reliance Defence Ltd denied the charge that the PM was promoting the company. “The JV between Reliance Aerostructure Ltd and Dassault Aviation is a bilateral agreement between two private companies. Dassault Aviation selected Reliance Aerostructure Ltd as its JV partner. The Indian government has no role to play in this,” a company statement said.
Calling the charges made by the Congress as false, Reliance said, “Government policy issued on June 24, 2016 allows for 49% FDI in the defence sector under the automatic route, without any prior approval. No approvals from the Union cabinet or CCS are required for formation of the aforesaid JV company under the automatic route.” More
than a year after the Uttarakhand assembly speaker disqualified nine rebel Congress MLAs to help the then Harish Rawat government win a trust vote, the Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed their appeals challenging the HC judgment which had upheld the disqualification.
Athree-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra dismissed the appeals and said these had become “academic” since a new government had assumed office in the state after assembly elections.
However, at the request of additional solicitor general Maninder Singh, the bench kept alive the Centre’s petition which challenged the HC’s decision to quash President’s rule.