Congress raises question over buying of Rafale aircraft by Modi govt

Raising a number of questions over the deal, Surjewala wondered whether is it sovereign right of the Prime Minister over exchequer's money?

PTI| Updated: May 06, 2016, 22:50 PM IST

New Delhi: Amid the storm over the AgustaWestland chopper deal, Congress today raised questions over buying of Rafale fighter aircraft by the Narendra Modi dispensation.

"Which Defence Procurement Procedure permits a Prime Minister to go and buy fighter aircraft from a private company without tendering process on Off-the-Shelf Basis leading to expenditure of Billion Dollars?", party's chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala asked while talking to reporters.

Raising a number of questions over the deal, he wondered whether is it sovereign right of the Prime Minister over exchequer's money?

"If there is no sovereign right that a Prime Minister has, can a Prime Minister tomorrow decide that he will spend 'X' amount of Billion Dollars of exchequer's money on Off-the-Shelf purchase of the Fighter Aircraft, the answer is clearly 'No'.", he said.

So, the Defence Procurement Procedure post independence, if ever has been negated, "thrown in the dust-bin and violated with impunity," it is in case of purchase of Off-the-Shelf Rafele Aircraft by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, he claimed.

Besides, he recalled that a global tender was held by Government and two companies had qualified Dassault Aviation of France which manufactures Rafele and the other Company which makes Euro Fighter.

In such a scenario, "if you had to make Off-the-Shelf purchase, should an equivalent offer had not been made to both the companies, so that we could have got the best price possible," he said.