War be­gins over CAG re­port on Rafale deal

Will start new kind of pol­i­tics, says Priyanka

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE - DNA Cor­re­spon­dent cor­re­spon­[email protected]­dia.net —PTI

New Delhi: Amid spec­u­la­tions that the of­fice of Comptroller and Au­di­tor Gen­eral (CAG) can ta­ble its re­port on Rafale deal in Par­lia­ment soon, the Congress on Sun­day claimed that CAG Ra­jiv Mehrishi is “com­pletely go­ing to save the govern­ment” and him­self as he was the fi­nance sec­re­tary when the deal was struck.

The Congress ac­cused the CAG of be­ing “com­plicit in the ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties’’ in the Rafale fighter jet deal and said, “The bungling was hap­pen­ing at the high­est level with his di­rect or indi­rect com­plic­ity and consent.”

Re­but­ting the ac­cu­sa­tions lev­elled by Congress leader Kapil Sibal, Union min­is­ter Arun Jaitley tweeted, “Af­ter ten years in the govern­ment for­mer UPA min­is­ters still don’t know that fi­nance sec­re­tary is only a des­ig­na­tion given to the se­nior most sec­re­tary in the Fi­nance Min­istry.”

Jaitley ex­plained that De­fence Min­istry files are dealt with by Sec­re­tary (Ex­pen­di­ture), and that the Sec­re­tary (Eco­nomic af­fairs) — the post held by Mehrishi — has no role in the ex­pen­di­ture files of the min­istry.

Union min­is­ter Ra­jyavard­han Rathore, too, at­tacked the “morally cor­rupt” Congress for shift­ing the fo­cus on CAG af­ter doubt­ing the in­de­pen­dence of the Supreme Court and Elec­tion Com­mis­sion.

Sibal on Sun­day charged, “CAG is go­ing to com­pletely save the govern­ment in its re­port. The whole deal was ma­te­ri­alised un­der the su­per­vi­sion of Ra­jiv Mehrishi who was then Fi­nance Sec­re­tary.”

“The CAG can­not act against him­self as there lies a con­flict of in­ter­est in do­ing so and a fair in­ves­ti­ga­tion should be done in a cor­rupt deal,” Sibal ar­gued.

Sibal also al­leged that the govern­ment knows be­fore­hand what would be in the CAG re­port which is likely to be tabled on Mon­day. The Congress also served a mem­o­ran­dum to Mehrishi. New Delhi: A day be­fore her maiden visit to Ut­tar Pradesh as Congress gen­eral sec­re­tary, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said that to­gether with the peo­ple of the state she hopes to start a “new kind of pol­i­tics” in which ev­ery­one will be a stake­holder.

Priyanka and Jy­oti­ra­ditya Scin­dia will ar­rive in Luc­know Mon­day on their first trip to the state af­ter be­ing ap­pointed the Congress gen­eral sec­re­tary in-charges of east­ern and west­ern UP re­spec­tively.

They will be ac­com­pa­nied by Congress pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi — all three vis­it­ing the cru­cial state for the first time af­ter the ap­point­ments an­nounced last month.

“I am com­ing to­mor­row to Luc­know to meet all of you. I have hope in my heart that to­gether we will start a new kind of pol­i­tics, a pol­i­tics in which all of you will be stake­hold­ers — my young friends, my sis­ters and even the weak­est per­son, all their voices will be heard,” said Gandhi through the party’s com­mu­ni­ca­tion app Shakti.

The party in Ut­tar Pradesh is see­ing the visit as the vir­tual launch of the Congress cam­paign in the state, ahead of the com­ing Lok Sabha elec­tions.


Rafale fighter jet

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