The CAG report on the controversial Rafale fighter jet deal was tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, 13 February, on the last day of the ongoing Budget Session.
The report said that the Rafale deal signed by the Modi government was 2.86 percent cheaper than the one negotiated by the UPA government
Congress President Rahul Gandhi had on Tuesday, 12 February, rejected the CAG report on Rafale and dubbed it as the "Chowkidar Auditor General" report.
"CAG report is a worthless report. I would term is as a 'Chowkidar Auditor General report'. It is Narendra Modi's report, written for the chowkidar, on behalf of the chowkidar, for the chowkidar, by the chowkidar," he said.
On Monday, 11 February, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) had sent the new report on the controversial deal to the President and the Union Finance Ministry.
- Modi government tabled the CAG report on the Rafale deal in Parliament on Wednesday, 13 February
- The report said that the Rafale deal was 2.8 percent cheaper than the one negotiated by the UPA government
- The report, titled ‘Capital Acquisitions of Air Force’, contains details of acquisitions and deals, including Rafale as one of 12 chapters
- Congress has raised objections to CAG Rajiv Mehrishi, who had served as the finance secretary when the Rafale deal was signed, investigating his own role
Catch all the earlier updates on Rafale deal controversy here.
Govt Likely to Table CAG Report on Wednesday
The government is scheduled to table the CAG report on Rafale jet fighter deal, which has generated a massive political controversy, in Parliament on Wednesday, sources said.
The government's decision to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets from French company Dassault has become a controversial political issue, with the main opposition party Congress leveling allegations of corruption and impropriety, and the ruling dispensation defending the move.
Former minister and senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Sunday alleged conflict of interest and asked the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Rajiv Mehrishi to recuse himself from auditing the deal as he was the finance secretary when the deal was negotiated.
Union Minister Arun Jaitley, however, rebutted the claims of Sibal saying that the Congress was casting aspersions on the institution of CAG based on "falsehood".
Opposition Steps Up Attack, Says Modi Will Be 'Accused No One'
Stepping up its attack on the government over the Rafale deal, Congress on Monday, 11 February, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi would have been the "number one accused" if the long-awaited anti-corruption ombudsman Lokpal had been in place and even his "broad shoulders" cannot bear the "bullets of corruption".
The attack came from Congress and other opposition parties at multiple platforms, including inside Parliament, at a day-long fast by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu seeking a special status for his state and during a Lucknow roadshow by Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
The CPI(M) asked the Supreme Court to revisit its earlier ruling on the Rafale matter and sought a high-level probe to get to bottom of what it described as a "scam", while BSP supremo Mayawati accused the government of ignoring national security for the sake of 'chowkidar' (watchman), a barb often used by the Opposition for the prime minister.
'Would Term CAG Report As Chowkidar Auditor General Report': Rahul Gandhi
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday, 12 February, rejected the CAG report on Rafale, dubbing it "Chowkidar Auditor General" report.
"CAG report is a worthless report. I would term it as a 'Chowkidar Auditor General report'. It is Narendra Modi's report, written for the chowkidar, on behalf of the chowkidar, for the chowkidar, by the chowkidar," he said.
Reliance Defence Rejects Rahul's Charges, Says 'Proposed MoU' Not on Rafale
Reliance Defence on Tuesday said the "proposed MoU" mentioned in a purported email cited by Congress president Rahul Gandhi in his fresh allegations on the Rafale deal was a reference to its cooperation with Airbus Helicopter and had "no connection" with the fighter jet contract.
"Purported email being referred by the Congress Party is regarding the discussion between Airbus and Reliance Defence regarding Civil & Defence Helicopter Programs under 'Make in India'," PTI reported citing a Reliance Defence spokesperson’s released statement.
Gandhi earlier in the day released an email dated 28 March 2015, during a press conference. He claimed the email showed Ambani visited then French defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian's office and mentioned an "MoU in preparation and the intention to sign during the PM visit (to France).
CAG Report on Rafale to be Tabled in Parliament Today
The Narendra Modi government is scheduled to table the CAG report on the Rafale jet fighter deal, which has generated a massive political controversy, in Parliament on Wednesday, 12 February, the last day of the ongoing Budget Session.
The report, on capital acquisitions by the Indian Air Force (IAF), may compare the Rafale deal with offers made by other manufacturers whose products were being considered, such as the Eurofighter Typhoon, Hindustan Times reported.
CAG Report Hold No Value: Kharge
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday, 13 February, said the CAG report on Rafale deal, to be presented before the Parliament, holds no value.
“Today, we will come to know what is in that report. But they (Centre) have already told SC what their intention is, in a sealed envelope. On its basis, they said in SC that there's no scam in prices,” he told ANI.
“You can see that they (Centre) are prejudiced... who have already made a decision, so this report holds no value. Secondly, there is a conflict of interest. The man who was then a negotiator is now preparing the report,” Kharge added.
Sonia, Rahul Gandhi Address Cong Parliamentary Party Meet
Congress President Rahul Gandhi, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, former PM Manmohan Singh, party leader Mallikarjun Kharge and other leaders of the party addressed the Congress Parliamentary Party's general body meeting on Wednesday, 13 February.
The meeting comes a few months ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The party’s action plan for the upcoming elections and the strategy for taking forward the Rafale onslaught against the Centre were likely discussed in the meeting.
Will Hold Detailed Press Conference on CAG Report: Rahul
Congress President Rahul Gandhi said that he will address a detailed press conference on the CAG report on Rafale deal, to be presented before the Parliament on Wednesday, 13 February, ANI reported.
The press conference is scheduled for around 3:30 pm in the afternoon.
Price of Rafale Redacted in CAG Report: Sources
The pricing of the 36 Rafale fighter jets deal has been redacted in the CAG report on the request of the Ministry of Defence (MoD), sources have told The Quint.
Sources have also confirmed that this particular report doesn’t mention the offset contract of the Rafale deal. A separate CAG report is being prepared which deals with the Rafale offset contract and other offset contracts in MoD.
Bluff, Bluster and Intimidation is Modi Govt's Philosophy: Sonia Gandhi
Speaking at Congress’ Parliamentary Party's general body meeting on Wednesday, 13 February, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi said that the Narendra Modi government’s philosophy is one of bluff, bluster and intimidation, CNN-News18 reported.
“There is an all-pervasive atmosphere of fear and strife across the country,” she added.
The party’s action plan for taking forward the Rafale onslaught against the Centre was likely discussed in the meeting, reports suggest.
Rafale Row: Opposition Leaders Protest Outside Parliament
Congress President Rahul Gandhi, along with leaders from the TDP and TMC, held protests near the Gandhi Statue in Parliament on Wednesday, 13 February, against alleged corruption in the Rafale deal, as per CNN-News18.
CAG Report on Rafale Tabled in Rajya Sabha
The CAG report on Capital Acquisitions in Indian Air Force was tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, 13 February. The report also includes details of the Rafale deal, ANI reported.
The CAG report comprises of 141 pages, of which 32 pages are on the Rafale aircraft deal, sources told The Quint. It covers the period from 2012 to 2018.
Out of the 11 Air Force deals in this period, five were finalised during the UPA era and six were finalised during the NDA regime.
Compared to UPA, NDA's Rafale Deal Saved 17.08% Money for Enhancements: CAG Report
The CAG report, tabled before the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, 13 February, said that compared to the UPA’s 126 aircraft deal, India managed to save 17.08 percent more money for the India Specific Enhancements in the 36 Rafale contract.
Lies of ‘Mahajhootbandhan’ Stand Exposed by CAG Report: Arun Jaitley
Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday, 13 February, said that the CAG report had exposed the lies of the ‘Mahajhootbandhan’, a dig at the ‘united Opposition’.
“It cannot be that the Supreme Court is wrong, the CAG is wrong and only the dynast is right,” he said.
Rafale Deal 2.86% Cheaper Than What UPA Negotiated: CAG Report
The Rafale deal signed by the Narendra Modi's government is 2.86 percent cheaper than the one negotiated by the previous Congress-led UPA government, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report on the Rafale deal said.
In its final comparison, the CAG found that the overall price of the 2015 offer (flyaway aircraft + add-ons) was 2.86 percent lower than the overall Aligned Price. This means that according to them, the 2015 offer was 2.86 percent cheaper than the 2007 offer, when adjusted for inflation, etc.
However, not all elements of the 2015 offer are cheaper, as per the report.
Delivery Schedule of NDA's Rafale Deal Better Than UPA's: CAG Report
The CAG report tabled in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, 13 February, said that the delivery schedule of the first 18 Rafale aircraft in Narendra Modi government's deal was better than the one proposed by the UPA.
This delivery schedule is one month better than the time it would have taken for the first 36 aircraft to be delivered under the 2007 offer, though in that case, only the first 18 would have come from France, while the next 18 would have been built in India, so this affected the delivery schedule.
CAG Report 'Very Strange': Congress' Manish Tewari
Former Union minister and Congress leader Manish Tewari, while speaking to CNN-News18 about the CAG report on Rafale, said: “I have not read the report but from what I have gathered, it is a very strange report.”
“The CAG performs three kinds of audit. Perhaps this is the first report that has not gone into the pricing aspect. This report is not worth the paper it is printed on,” he added.
CAG Report Shows Rahul Gandhi Has Been Lying: Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Former MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday, 13 February, said that the CAG report had shown that Rahul Gandhi has been lying constantly.
“If someone has to be given a tag of 'mahajhootha' or an award for it then he'll (Rahul) be the first contender. He has no shame. The way he had lied in Rafale matter, all his facts and documents are turning out to be false,” he said.
"He (Rahul) has no credibility left. All I would like to tell him is that the quicker he stops this game, the better it is. Suraj ke upar agar thookenge to wo unke chehre par hi aaega (If you spit into the sky, it falls into your eye ),” Chouhan added, as per ANI.
CAG Report Neither Complete, Nor Fully Correct: Mayawati
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati responded to the CAG report, writing on Twitter that the auditor general’s report on Rafale is “neither complete nor fully correct in the eyes of public”.
Rafale INT Chairman Rejects Dissent Note, Says All Observations Suitably Addressed
The Chairman of the Indian Negotiating Team for Rafale, Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria told ANI that the issues highlighted in Wednesday’s report in The Hindu had been discussed before. He said that the observations of three members of the INT were given to the INT chairman, discussed and included in the report.
“The INT report did not have a dissent note. These observations must be seen as part of deliberations of the INT before finalisation and forwarding of the report,” Bhadauria told ANI.
CAG Report Has Vindicated NDA Govt's Stand: Jaitley
Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday, 13 February, said that the CAG report had completely vindicated the stand of NDA government.
“It has blasted the big lie which was being spearheaded by the Congress. The Congress president had manufactured a statistic (500 vs 1600 data) which doesn't exist anywhere. He repeated that lie ad nauseam,” Jaitley said, as per ANI.
Speaking about the dissent note written by three MoD officials, he said: “In a consultation process, people are bound to express different views, that is how decisions take place, but ultimately the government is one and final decision is taken.”
Govt Giving Itself Clean Chit: Anand Sharma
The government is giving itself a clean chit, former Union Cabinet Minister Anand Sharma said on Wednesday, 13 February.
“The CAG report has been written by the government. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will reject this report,” Sharma said.
PM's Defence on Pricing of Rafale Deal 'Demolished': Rahul
Stepping up his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale issue, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday cited a media report to claim that the PM's argument of better pricing and faster delivery of the jets to defend the deal has been "demolished".
His attack came after a report in The Hindu, which claimed that the Rafale deal was not on "better terms" than the UPA-era offer.
CAG Report Raises Concerns on Letter of Comfort Over Sovereign Guarantee
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), in its report on the Rafale fighter jet deal with France, has highlighted the drawbacks of settling for a 'Letter of Comfort' rather than a sovereign guarantee by the French government.
The report, tabled in Parliament on Wednesday, noted that the 2007 UPA deal included a 15 percent bank guarantee against advance payments.
Highlighting its concerns, the CAG observed that in case of a breach of agreement, India would now have to first settle the matter through arbitration directly with the French vendors.
If the arbitration award goes in favour of India and Dassault Aviation, the makers of the Rafale jet, fails to honour it, India will have to exhaust all available legal remedies, it said. Only after that will the French government make the payments on behalf of Dassault Aviation, it added.
Air Force Acquisition Process Needs Simplification: CAG
Overall the capital acquisition system, as it exists, is unlikely to effectively support the Indian Air Force (IAF) in its operational preparedness and modernisation, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has observed on the Rafale deal and called for revisiting the entire process of acquisition to simplify it.
In its report on Capital Acquisition in IAF on the Rafale fighter jets deal, tabled in Parliament on Wednesday, the CAG recommended that the IAF should improve its process of formation of Air Staff Qualitative Requirements (ASQR) to ensure that they correctly reflect the user's functional parameters.
CAG Report Remains a 'Chowkidar Auditor General' Report: Congress
The Congress party on Wednesday, 13 February, slammed the CAG’s report on Rafale saying “this is the first time in history that a CAG report to Parliament has redacted numbers. This in itself raises a big question mark on the report.”
“The comparison of the prices is based on the Aligned Price, the calculation of which is opaque,” it said.
“This report remains a Chowkidar Auditor General report,” the party added.
Aircrafts Getting Delivered in India Later Than the Original Deal: Rahul Gandhi
Congress President Rahul Gandhi while addressing the media said that the Rafale aircrafts in India are getting delivered later than they were supposed to as per the original deal.
“Argument of Prime Minister, Defence Minister and Finance Minister on why a new deal was required was - No.1- price and No. 2-Air Force needed planes quickly. The fact of the matter is, the new deal signed by Narendra Modi gets India the aircrafts later than the original deal,” he said.
Rahul Gandhi Manufacturing Statistics on Rafale: Jaitley
Union Minister Arun Jaitley attacked Congress President Rahul Gandhi for "manufacturing statistics" into the 36 Rafale fighter jet deal with France's Dassault Aviation.
"The Congress President has manufactured a statistic, Rs 500 crore versus Rs 1,600 crore, a data which does not exist anywhere on any record," Jaitley told reporters.
"And on that manufactured data he (Rahul Gandhi) repeatedly lied before the country on various occasions. Ordinarily when the Supreme Court saw the pricing, examined the procedures and offset provisions and found no substance, the controversy should have come to an end," he said.
"Our NDA's deal is cheaper than the 2007 transaction. And keep in mind this is 2.86 per cent cheaper than that they have mentioned," he added.
BJP Removed System of Middlemen in Defence Deals: P Muralidhar Rao
The CAG report showed that Congress President Rahul Gandhi was spreading misinformation on the Rafale deal with an eye on the coming Lok Sabha elections, BJP General Secretary P Muralidhar Rao claimed on Wednesday, 13 February.
"BJP has brought an end to the system of middlemen (in defence deals) that existed during Congress regime... Nothing that finds fault with the government has come either in the Supreme Court or through CAG," he said, as per PTI.
‘Parts of Planes Falling Off’: VK Singh Raises Questions About HAL
Minister of State for External Affairs General VK Singh on Wednesday, 13 February, raised questions about the "capability” and “condition" of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
"Look at the condition of HAL. Our two pilots died. Sorry to say, but the programmes at HAL are running late by three-and-a-half years... parts of aircraft are falling off on the runway. Is this capability? On the other hand, we say that HAL is not getting the (Rafale) work," PTI quoted him as saying.
Read the full story here.