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The Congress today (Wednesday, March 6) accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of misusing his office in Rafale deal negotiations to benefit Dassault Aviation and said that a case under the prevention of corruption law is made out against him.

The party’s chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala told reporters that the Indian Negotiating Team (INT) to finalise the purchase of the fighter aircraft was sidelined and National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval finalised the negotiation at the behest of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

The government has rejected the Congress’s charge of corruption in the deal and the ruling BJP has been accusing it of spreading lies to target it.

Surjewala claimed the government bought the fighter aircraft at a much higher rate than what was negotiated by the UPA and also waived bank guarantee.

The Congress allegations came after a report in The Hindu cited documents to say that no bank guarantees in the Rafale deal negotiated by the Modi government made it more expensive.

The government’s claim of buying the 36 aircraft at Rs 59,000 crore is wrong and the INT has put the figure at Rs 64,000 crore, Surjewala claimed, accusing the government of misleading Parliament.

The statement put out by the Congress said the price of 36 Rafale aircraft in the deal finalised by Modi government is far more than the deal for 126 Rafale aircraft that was being negotiated under Congress-UPA Govt.

Alleging that PM Modi misled the Parliament, the statement said the price of 36 Rafale aircraft is €8460 Million (₹63,450  Cr  |  1€=₹75) by Indian Negotiating Team’s (INT) own admission and not €7890 Million (₹59,175 Cr), as claimed by the Modi government, the Congress said.

Further, said the Opposition party, the price of even €8460 Million (₹63,450 Cr) is not the final price of 36 Rafales as it merely takes into account an annual escalation rate (inflation rate) of 1.22% for a period of 5.75 years to arrive at this figure. If the rate climbs higher, India will have to pay even more, the Congress alleged.

The Congress said the Modi government also “deliberately” concealed “the fact that 36 Rafale  aircrafts (sic) would be delivered in 10 years, as per INT and not 5.75 years…”

The Congress said PM Modi did away with ‘Bank Guarantee’ condition to cause a loss to the exchequer.

Moreover, said the Congress, “Neither was the cost of ‘India Specific Enhancements’ included, nor was the cost of ‘Transfer of Technology’ added.”

The Congress said PM  Modi did  away  with the condition  of ‘Bank Guarantee’ to  benefit Dassault  Aviation,  despite  the  written  opposition  of the  Law  Ministry, the Finance Ministry and the Defence Ministry. The UPA deal for 126 Aircrafts UPA deal included a ‘Bank Guarantee’ of  €574 Million (₹4305 Cr), but this is missing in the 36 aircraft’s deal. Even the CAG Report admitted that this €574 Million (₹4305 Cr) was a direct benefit to Dassault Aviation.

Coming to the cost of ‘India Specific Enhancements’ worth €1,300 Million (₹9750  Cr), the Congress said this was also not added to the price of 36  aircraft.

In the 126 Rafale aircraft being purchased by Congress-UPA Govt, cost of ‘India Specific Enhancements’ was €11.11 Million (₹83.32  Cr) per  aircraft, Surjewala said. “Shockingly,  despite  the  same  specifications,  cost  of ‘India  Specific  Enhancements’ in  the  36 Rafale aircrafts purchased by Modi Govt went up by 350%  i.e €36.11 (₹270.8Cr) per aircraft,” he said.

Contending that the most expensive component of every defence deal is ‘Transfer of Technology’, Surjewala said that this was missing during the 36 Rafale aircraft purchase. “How can the price of 36 Rafale aircrafts be then higher?” Surjewala asked.

The Congress said that PM Modi held “direct negotiations” to buy the 36 Rafale aircraft, bypassing the INT. It said that the  final  negotiations  were  held  in  France by NSA Ajit Doval on 12th and  13th January,  2016  and  the  final  agreement  was  consequently  signed  on  13th January, 2016.

Alleging that “it is undoubtedly established that Shri Modi misused his office as Prime Minister to  grant undue benefit to Dassault Aviation and caused a loss to public exchequer”, the Congress said this was “a clear cut case”  under the Prevention  of  Corruption  Act and different provisions of Indian  Penal Code.

“Time  has  now  come  to  register  an  FIR  against  PM  Modi and every other individual so that a time-bound investigation takes place in this entire sage of Rafale Corruption reaching the highest echelons of power,” said Surjewala.

Statement Issued by Shri Randeep Singh Surjewala, In-Charge, Communications, AICC

Blatant Loot of Public Money in the Rafale Scam exposed!

Responsibility lies at the door steps of PM Modi. Case should be registered under Prevention of Corruption Act

The report of the Indian Negotiation Team (INT) is now in public domain. It is now crystal clear that the Prime  Minister,  Shri  Narendra  Modi misled the  Parliament  and duped  the  country  to  cover  up the murky  dealings and  blatant corruption, besides, squandering away National Security interests. This conspiracy has now been uncovered.

  1. Price of 36 Rafale Aircrafts is far more than 126 Rafale aircrafts under Congress-UPA Govt. PM Modi misled the Parliament and his Govt looted the nation’s treasury.

Price of 36 Rafale Aircrafts is €8460 Million (₹63,450  Cr  |  1€=₹75) by INT’s own admission and not €7890 Million (₹59,175 Cr), as is being claimed by a fraudulent Modi Government.

There is another dimension to the brazen loot – even €8460 Million (₹63,450 Cr) is not the final price of 36 Rafales as it merely takes into account an annual escalation rate (inflation rate) of1.22% for a period of 5.75 years to arrive at this figure.

However, Modi Govt has surreptitiously hidden the fact that if the escalation rate (inflation rate) in France climbs upto 3.5%, then the Indian Government will be forced to pay  3.5%  more price annually.

The fact  that  36  Rafale  aircrafts  would  be delivered  in  10 years,  as  per INT and not 5.75 years was also deliberately hidden. Even if inflation rate of 1.22% is considered for 10 years, still by then, the price will cross €9,000 Million(₹67,500 Cr).

  1. PM Modi did away with ‘Bank Guarantee’ condition to cause a loss to the exchequer. Neither was the cost of ‘India Specific Enhancements’ included, nor was the cost of ‘Transfer of Technology’ added.
  2. 126 Aircrafts UPA deal included a ‘Bank Guarantee’of €574 Million(₹4305 Cr). Same is missing in the 36 aircraft’s deal. Even the CAG Report admitted that this €574 Million(₹4305 Cr) was a direct benefit to Dassault Aviation. In the Cabinet Committee on  Security,  PM  Modi did  away  with the condition  of ‘Bank Guarantee’ to  benefit Dassault  Aviation,  despite  the  written  opposition  of the  Law  Ministry, the Finance Ministry and the Defence Ministry.
  3. Cost of ‘India Specific Enhancements’ worth €1,300 Million. (₹9750 Cr)  was  not  added  to  the price  of  36  aircrafts. Let  it  be  noted  that  in  the  126  Rafale  aircrafts  being  purchased  by  Congress-UPA  Govt,  cost  of ‘India  Specific  Enhancements’ was €11.11 Million (₹83.32  Cr) per  aircraft.

Shockingly,  despite  the  same  specifications,  cost  of ‘India  Specific  Enhancements’ in  the  36 Rafale aircrafts purchased by Modi Govt went up by 350%  i.e €36.11 (₹270.8Cr) per aircraft.

III. ‘Transfer of Technology’ is the most expensive component of every defence deal.  The INT noted that ‘Transfer of Technology’ formed part of price of 126 aircrafts during UPA-Congress purchase and the same was missing during the 36 Rafale aircraft purchase. How can the price of 36 Rafale aircrafts be then higher?

This  means  the  country willpay €10,300 Million for  36  Rafale  aircrafts  under  PM  Modi’s  deal. (₹77,250 Cr) [€9000 Million + €1300 Million]

  1. Bypassing the INT, PM Modi held ‘direct negotiations’ to buy 36 Rafale aircrafts. Proceedings of INT  now  establish  that  the  final  negotiations  were  held  in  France  by  NSA, Shri Ajit Doval  on  12th  and  13th January,  2016  and  the  final  agreement  was  consequently  signed  on  13th January, 2016. This conclusively nails Modi Govt’s white lie!

Responsibility for negotiating the 36 Rafale Aircrafts purchase was that of the ‘Indian Negotiating Team’ (INT)  constituted  by  Ministry  of  Defence  on  12th  May,  2015. But  PM  Modi  was  indulging  in ‘direct negotiation’ with the French, which weakened the credibility of the INT.

Firstly,  PMO  was  holding ‘parallel negotiations’ bypassing the INT, as recorded by none less than the Defence Secretary, Government of India on file on 24.11.2015.But Paragraph 11 of the file notings of the INT clearly states that NSA, Shri Ajit Doval was holding ‘final negotiations’ (on behalf of PM Modi) on 12th& 13th January, 2016 in Paris, France, on the basis of which a decision to purchase 36 Rafale jets was finally sealed on 13thJanuary 2016.

Shri  Doval  was  not part  of  the  Indian Negotiation Team  (INT) and  was  not  even authorized by  the Cabinet Committee on Security  for  the  same. Simple  question  is,  how  is  it  the  domain  of  NSA  to negotiate  and  finalise  a Fighter  Aircrafts  purchase  deal?  Obviously,  the  PMO and  the  NSA  were doing so under direct instructions of PM, Shri Narendra Modi.

It  is  now  crystal  clear  that  blatant  and  massive  corruption  has  taken  place in  the  Rafale  deal. It is undoubtedly established that Shri Modi misused his office as  Prime Minister to  grant undue benefit to Dassault Aviation and caused a loss to public exchequer. This  is  a  clear cut case  under Section  13  (1)  (d)  of  the Prevention  of  Corruption  Act,  1988  and different  provisions  of Indian  Penal  Code. Time  has  now  come  to  register  an  FIR  against  PM  Modi and every other individual so that a time-bound investigation takes place in this entire sage of Rafale Corruption reaching the highest echelons of power.

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