Rafale fighter jet deal: Congress leaders to meet CAG, demand probe

Congress is demanding a probe by the CAG, CVC into the Rafale deal.

Rafale fighter jet deal: Congress leaders to meet CAG, demand probe

NEW DELHI: Amid an ongoing war of words with the Centre over the Rafale fighter deal, the Congress central leadership will on Wednesday meet the Comptroller And Auditor General (CAG) seeking a detailed probe into the controversial deal between India and France.

According to ANI, top Congress leaders are expected to meet the CAG this morning over the issue.

The Congress has alleged blatant corruption in the deal by the Narendra Modi-led government to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets from France's Dassault Aviation.

The Congress party has alleged that the Modi government has caused a loss of over Rs 41,000 crore to the exchequer by paying a higher price for the aircraft than what was negotiated by the UPA.

Attacking the Centre on Tuesday, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that the CAG and CVC are bound by their constitutional duty to look at the entire deal and all its papers - whether or not somebody moves them.

"Congress party at an appropriate time also intends to move an appropriate petition before CVC and CAG to expeditiously and quickly adhere to their constitutional duties," Surjewala said.

On behalf of his party,  Surjewala also asked why the government was not setting up a joint parliamentary committee to probe the fighter jet deal.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had earlier rejected the demand, saying all the details on it have already been placed before Parliament. 

Sitharaman also said that info leak on Rafale weaponry can help China and Pakistan. 

Refusing to reveal the exact full price of each Rafale aircraft fitted with weaponry, the Defence Minister said that "information leaked about the weapon systems can ultimately help Pakistan and China."

Sitharaman, who recently appeared in 'Aap Ki Adalat' programme on India TV, said that 36 Rafale fighter jets being purchased by the government from France were nine percent cheaper than the price negotiated by the previous UPA government. 

She even reportedly described as "white lie" the allegation made by the Congress that the approval of Cabinet Committee on Security was not taken for the Rafale deal. 

(With Agency inputs)

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