Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister S. Jaipal Reddy on Friday alleged serious violations in defence procurement procedure on the Rafale fighter jet deal inked between India and France. He charged Prime Minister Narendra Modi with bypassing the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) and pushing through the deal.
“This is a unique deal in the history of independent India where only the PM was involved in sealing the deal, and former Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar and the then Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar were completely out of the picture,” said Mr. Reddy, speaking at the Congress Bhavan in Pune.
Every government, including the NDA coalition headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, has followed the defence procurement procedure, he said.
“Why were only 36 aircrafts purchased when 126 were required? Why did the cost per plane soar from Rs. 526 crore [as per Congress-led UPA government’s estimates] to Rs. 1,670 crore, causing the country a staggering loss of Rs. 41,000 crore,” Mr. Reddy stated, repeating the statistics with which senior leaders of his party have been attacking Mr. Modi and the NDA over the deal.
08/09/18 Shoumojit Banerjee/The Hindu