The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday, 9 November, launched an attack on the Congress over a recently published report by French online investigative journal Mediapart, which said that commissions were paid between 2007 and 2012 for securing the Rafale deal with India.
Party spokesperson Sambit Patra said that the Congress should be renamed as "I Need Commission", and went on to say that the deal had failed when Congress was in power because the party was dissatisfied with "cut" on offer, reported PTI.
Patra also accused Congress leader Rahul Gandhi of spreading "canard, disinformation, and lies" and asked him to respond to the report by Mediapart.
The Congress also hit back at the BJP, saying that the PM Modi-led government had launched "operation cover-up" and questioned why they had not investigated the Rafale matter, reported Hindustan Times.
Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said that the party had been seeking a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the matter and asked why the government had not yet agreed to this.
WHAT DID THE REPORT SAY?
The Mediapart report said that Dassault Aviation paid €7.5 million in kickbacks to a middleman named Sushen Gupta to ensure the success of the Rs 59,000 crore deal with the Indian government for 36 Rafale fighter jets.
It further alleged that Gupta received secret commissions from AgustaWestland, an Anglo-Indian helicopter, via an offshore company registered in Mauritius called Interstellar Technologies Ltd.
The report also stated that "detectives from India's federal police force, the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI), and colleagues from the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which fights money laundering, have had proof [of this] since October 2018".
(With inputs from PTI and Hindustan Times)