The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on the acquisition of the 36 Rafale aircraft has been hailed by the Narendra Modi-led government as a “vindication of its stand.”
A closure inspection of the 157-page CAG report that was tabled in Parliament on 13 February, reveal ‘flaws’ in the procurement process as well as the final inter-government agreement between India and France.
The key takeaway of the latest report is that the deal under the NDA regime (for 36 Rafale aircraft) was 2.86 percent cheaper than the deal finalised by the previous UPA-government in 2007. It also stated that the delivery of the 36 Rafale aircraft will come a month earlier compared to what was promised to the UPA government.
However, with several pertinent details remaining unanswered, can the new CAG report be hailed as a victory for the BJP?
BloombergQuint’s Tamanna Inamdar speaks to Defence expert and columnist with Business Standard, Ajai Shukla on the Primetime Debate.
‘CAG Report on Rafale Does Not Mention Dissenting Note’: Rahul Gandhi
Hours after the CAG report was tabled in Parliament, Congress President Rahul Gandhi noted that the report does not mention the dissent note by negotiators and said he doesn't think its worth the paper its written on.
“The government's argument on price and faster delivery of Rafale fighter jets has been demolished”, Gandhi said at a press conference.
The only reason for the new deal is to give Rs 30,000 crore to industrialist Anil Ambani, the Congress chief alleged.
The Congress attack came came a day after Gandhi accused the prime minister of "treason" and violating the Official Secrets Act by acting as Anil Ambani's "middleman" in the Rafale jet contract, citing an email to claim the businessman was aware of the deal days before India and France finalised it.
The BJP, however, rejected the charge, saying the email purportedly by an Airbus executive referred to a helicopter deal and not Rafale.
Reliance Defence, in a statement, also refuted Gandhi's allegation saying the "proposed MoU" mentioned in the email referred to its cooperation with Airbus Helicopter.
(With inputs from PTI)