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CAG report on Rafale deal: Congress adamant on JPC demand, stages walkout in Lok Sabha

FE Online
cag report rafale deal

Rafale deal CAG report: The Congress party on Tuesday reiterated its demand of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into Rafale deal in the Lok Sabha. The Congress MPs even staged a walkout after their demand was rejected by the Speaker. Alleging corruption, Kharge said a JPC probe was needed to probe the deal. He also demanded discussion on the issue to which the Speaker said a debate had already taken place in the House. Kharge claimed that the CAG report on defence was tabled before the Rajya Sabha and was leaked, adding that the report was not tabled before Lok Sabha.

Earlier, the Indian Air Force (IAF) said that delivery of Rafale fighter jets are on its schedule and that the first aircraft will reach India in September this year. The statement comes in the midst of massive political slugfest with both BJP and Congress attacking each other. Earlier today, Congress president Rahul Gandhi sought initiation of criminal proceedings against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and alleged that he acted as the middleman for industrialist Anil Ambani in the defence deal for purchase of Rafale fighter jets. He was referring to a report published in The Indian Express on Tuesday which claimed that Anil Ambani had met top French Defence officials just a few weeks ahead of PM Modi’s France visit in April 2015. Rahul’s renewed attack against the PM came on a day the Centre is set to table the CAG report on the defence deal. Rahul also rubbished the CAG report and termed it as the “Chowkidaar Auditor General” report.

Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Rajiv Mehrishi on Monday submitted the report on Rafale deal to President Ram Nath Kovind. The Modi government is likely to table the report in Lok Sabha on Tuesday, a day before the first part of Budget Session culminates. This is the last session of the 16th Lok Sabha ahead of the general elections. The Lok Sabha polls are due in April-May.

The Rafale deal between India and France has generated a massive political controversy just ahead of the general elections. Both the ruling BJP and opposition Congress have been attacking each other. While the main opposition Congress has been leveling allegations of corruption and impropriety, the ruling dispensation has been defending the move and accusing the Congress of weakening the defence forces.

Rafale deal: Anil Ambani visited France weeks ahead of PM Modi’s 2015 trip, met top Defence officials