Congress Party Accuses Modi Gov't of Compromising India's Security, Kickbacks in Rafale Deal
Advitya Bahl. Sputnik International
12:39 GMT 09.04.2021
French publication Mediapart had recently published a series of investigative reports claiming that jet manufacturer Dassault Aviation had paid 1 million Euros to an Indian middleman as part of the high-profile Rafale fighter jet deal to supply 36 aircraft from France to India.
India's main opposition Congress Party on Friday launched a scathing attack against Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government over the Rafale deal. The allegation has come against the backdrop of Mediapart's report, which claimed that the French government had covered up misdeeds in the Rafale deal with India.
Congress Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that explosive revelations regarding the Rafale jet deal have shed light on massive corruption, treason, the loss to public exchequer of at least ¬£2.81 billion and a criminal breach of National Security by Narendra Modi's Govt.
"What is the reason for an additional payment of ¬£2.81 Billion, causing losses to the public exchequer? Isn't it more than prima facie evidence for an investigation into the Rafale deal?" Surjewala said on Friday.
‚ÄčThe French media report said that Dassault claimed the money was paid for 50 replicas of Rafale jets and the order was given to an Indian defence company. On Thursday, Mediapart reported that Sushen Gupta, a defence dealer under investigation by India's Enforcement Directorate for money laundering in the AgustaWestland chopper scam, received "kickbacks" to influence the purchase of the 36 aircraft in flyway condition.
The report also alleged that as a middleman for Dassault and Thales, Gupta obtained confidential documents from the Indian defence ministry relating to the activities of the negotiating team during the discussions on the Rafale deal in 2015.
However on Thursday, a Dassault Aviation spokesperson rejected the allegations and said the company acts in strict compliance with the OECD anti-bribery convention and national laws.
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