‘Completely baseless’, says BJP on Rafale bribe allegations; Cong demands probe

After a French media document said that 1.1 million Euros used to be paid to a “middleman” through Rafale producers, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday disregarded the declare as “completely baseless” and stated the Congress celebration had made it a large factor earlier than the Lok Sabha polls however misplaced badly.

Prasad stated, “Why is the Congress again talking about the Rafale issue? The Supreme Court and the CAG have found nothing wrong in the deal. Congress made it a big issue ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in 2019 but lost badly. A French journal has published the issue. We have to take into consideration the issue of corporate rivalry in France. The report has named (middleman) Sushen Gupta who was arrested in the AgustaWestland scam. Salman Khurshid had publicly said that he knew Gupta.”

He added, “If we had the Rafale fleet, it would have been of great help during the Balakot strike. Congress had asked for proof after Uri and Balakot strikes. They shouldn’t try to destabilise the willpower of the defence forces of the nation.”

The Congress, in the meantime, sought an intensive probe into the Rafale defence deal and demanded solutions from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after a French media document claimed that 1.1 million Euros used to be paid to a “middleman” through the plane producer.

Chief Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala instructed a press convention right here that the French information portal’s document has proved that Rahul Gandhi’s oft-repeated allegations of corruption within the deal had been right kind.

While there used to be no instant reaction from the BJP or the federal government at the fees, they’ve up to now denied any irregularities within the nation’s greatest defence deal.

Surjewala stated as in line with the French portal’s document, an investigation carried out through the French Anti-Corruption Agency (AFA) has printed that once signing of the deal in 2016, Rafale’s producer Dassault allegedly paid 1.1 million Euros to a intermediary — Defsys Solutions — which is an Indian corporate.

“Does it now not require a full and independent investigation into India’s biggest defence deal to find out as to how much bribery and commission in reality, if any, was paid and to whom in the Indian government?” he requested. “Will Prime Minister Narendra Modi answer to the nation now?” he requested.

Surjewala stated this quantity used to be proven as expenditure through Dassault as “gifts to clients”.

The Congress chief stated that the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) as additionally the said Indian executive coverage envisage there will probably be an “Integrity Clause” in each defence acquire contract which obviously states that there will also be no intermediary or cost of fee or bribe.

Surjewala stated that as in line with the DPP, any proof of intermediary or fee or bribery has severe penal penalties together with the banning of the provider, cancellation of contract, registration of an FIR and imposition of heavy monetary consequences at the corporate.

“Has it not vitiated the Rafale deal? It must entail imposition of heavy financial penalties on Dassault, banning of the company, registration of an FIR and other penal consequences,” he stated.

He requested whether or not the cost of one.1 million Euros proven through Dassault as “Gifts to Clients” is actually a fee paid to the intermediary for the Rafale deal.

“How can middlemen and payment of commission be permitted in a government-to-government defence contract or in any defence procurement in India? It is in violation of the mandatory Defence Procurement Procedure,” he stated.

(With inputs from PTI)

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