New Delhi: The Congress, for the second time in as many months, on Thursday petitioned Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Rajiv Mehrishi, urging him to audit the Rafale deal for “corruption” before a report is submitted to Parliament. A party delegation, including former Union Ministers Jairam Ramesh and Anand Sharma, met the CAG and handed over “new details and revelations” on the deal which they claimed caused loss worth Rs 41,205 crore to the public exchequer.
“We met the CAG with new details and revelations on the Rafale deal. More revelations are bound to come up. Each and every detail and document must go through CAG’s forensic audit before a report is submitted to Parliament. Once these facts come on record, Congress will insist on a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to take charge of all documents and then fix accountability,” said Sharma after their near half-hour meeting with Mehrishi.
During its September 19 meeting with the CAG, the Congress had submitted a memorandum detailing various alleged irregularities and claimed these had caused a huge loss to the exchequer and compromised national security. In its latest memorandum, the Congress has cited assertions made by former French President Francois Hollande on “India imposing” the choice of offset partner as well as former Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) chief T. S. Raju’s claims of the defence aircraft maker entering into a work-share agreement with Dassault Aviation, the makers of Rafale jets.
“Subsequent documents and revelations made at the highest level in India and France have exposed a deep-rooted sinister conspiracy and a clear-cut case of loss worth Rs 41,205 crore to the public exchequer. “The public statements and assertions made by Hollande regarding the completely illegitimate influence used by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government as also the public statement by Raju, calling the bluff and lies of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have unmasked the conspiracy hatched at the highest levels of the Modi government,” it said in the memorandum. The Congress also alleged that through “statements and news plants” government sources were “trying to influence” the functioning of the CAG and “obstructing and interfering” with its fair and independent authority. The Congress told the CAG that the deal was a “clear-cut case of loss to the public exchequer and rampant corruption coupled with a concerted conspiracy”. (IANS)