CAG report on Rafale deal to table in Lok Sabha today
The audit report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) will be tabled in the Lok Sabha today. The government is also hoping to pass the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Rajya Sabha. As per officials' comment, the CAG which went into the €7.87-billion inter-governmental agreement (IGA) with France will not get into the pricing details, which have been withheld by the government citing an information security agreement between the two countries. Opposition parties have also questioned the impartiality of the current CAG, Rajiv Mehrshi, in the audit, as he was an official in the Finance Ministry during the Rafale negotiations. The Finance Ministry on Monday issued a statement that such an accusation was “totally a figment of imagination and stretch of facts”.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on February 12 accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of acting as a middleman of Anil Ambani in the Rafale jet deal, as he cited an e-mail to claim the businessman was aware of the MoU before India and France signed it.
Ambani's knowledge of a defence deal under preparation, which even the then defence minister had said he was not aware of, is in violation of the Official Secrets Act, Gandhi alleged at a press conference, and said this "puts Modi in jail".
Only Modi could have told Ambani about the deal in advance, he alleged.
"This is treason. He (Modi) is doing what spies do," Gandhi said.
Ambani had met the French defence minister days before the signing of the deal during Modi's visit to France in 2015, Gandhi said, quoting from an e-mail written by an Airbus executive to a French official. The Congress president also rejected the Comptroller and Auditor General report on the Rafale deal, and dubbed it "Chowkidar Auditor General" report said.
The revised list of business for the Lok Sabha still does not mention the CAG report on the Rafale deal.
Congress' Mallikarjun Kharge dared the government to order a JPC probe in the Rafale deal, before staging a walkout in protest, and the The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 2.00 pm.
“Defence Minister says he does not know about the new deal, whereas Anil Ambani is sitting in the French Defence Minister's office saying PM will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with him involved. This is the breach of the Official Secrets Act,” Rahul Gandhi has claimed
Meanwhile, Opposition MPs in Lok Sabha are raising slogans seeking Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC)'s scrutiny of the Rafale deal.
The email clearly shows that Anil Ambani knew of the deal 10 days before it was signed. The Airbus CEO has already informed him. The prime minister is acting as Anil Ambani's middleman. The PM should explain this to the people of the country said by Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi, in his press conference, has showed a printout of an email and has reiterated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi worked as Anil Ambani’s “middleman.”
“It was PM Modi who told Anil Ambani about the deal. It was after Anil Ambani's conversation with the prime minister that he opened his defence company,” Gandhi has claimed.
Reliance Defence has denied any wrongdoing in the Rafale deal.