Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Congress Raises Questions Over Rafale Jet Deal, BJP Hits Back

New Delhi: Raising questions over the Rafale fighter jet deal, the Congress has accused the government of having compromised national interest and security while promoting "crony capitalism" and causing a loss to the public exchequer.

The BJP rubbished the allegation, claiming it was intended to "divert attention" as the party bigwigs faced the prospect of being questioned in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam.

The Congress' communications department head Randeep Surjewala alleged the government neglected the interests of public sector Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) as Dassault Aviation, the french manufacturer of Rafale aircraft refused to transfer technology to it and instead entered into an agreement with Reliance Defence.

He also alleged that the aircraft was being purchased at much higher rates than what was decided after the completion of the tender process under the previous UPA government.

The BJP hit right back, with its spokesman GVL Narasimha Rao claiming that the Congress party was engaging in a "stunt" by raising the Rafale issue as it was scared at the prospect of its top leadership, including the Gandhis, being questioned in the VVIP chopper scam.

He said after the arrest of middleman Carlos Gerosa in Italy last month and his likely extradition to India soon, "the Congress has made baseless allegations over Rafale deal to divert public attention and to cry political vendetta".

"None of these stunts will work and the Congress must be ready to answer who took bribes in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal as the money trail is going to become known after the extradition of Carlos Gerosa," he told news agency PTI.
15/11/17 NDTV

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