New revelations on Rafale deal: BJP attacks Congress, demands answers from Gandhis
Delhi – On Tuesday, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has accused former Congress led UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government of irregularities in the fighter jets Rafale deal based on recent revelations in a French online journal, Mediapart’s report. The massive political upheaval has been reignited by the report on alleged kickbacks that were paid between 2007 and 2012 to middlemen in the deal. The fingers have also been pointed at CBI for failing to investigate the allegations even though were provided with required documents.
Directing attacks at Congress that allowed corruption under its watch, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said, “INC (Indian National Congress) means ‘I need Commission’. Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Robert Vadra, all say ‘I need commission’.”
“Let Rahul Gandhi answer from Italy – why did you and your party try to spread lies about Rafale all these years? Now it has been revealed that their own government was in power in 2007 to 2012 when commissions were paid, in which a middleman’s name has also come up,” Mr. Patra said. “For 10 years, the IAF (Indian Air Force) was deprived of fighter aircraft. There were negotiations without conclusion…now we know the negotiation was about the commission, not the aircraft.”
Congress in response has attacked BJP of the alleged cover-up. “The latest revelations in Operation Cover-up reveal the dubious nexus between (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi government-CBI-Enforcement Directorate to bury the Rafale Corruption.”
Mediapart has revealed in its latest report that French jet manufacturer Dassault paid at least 7.5 million euros (nearly ₹ 650 million) in bribes to a middleman in the deal, to help secure the sale of 36 Rafale fighter jets to India. It added that Indian agencies like the CBI and Enforcement Directorate failed to open investigations in this despite being provided with the documents since 2018. Mediapart has published alleged false invoices that show Dassault paid secret commissions to middleman Sushen Gupta.