Before signing the Rafale deal with France, the BJP led government central government waived off important provisions for anti-corruption clause and making payments through an escrow account, reported, The Hindu on Monday. The report claimed that the agreement for acquiring 36 Rafale jets gave major concessions to the Dassault Aviation.
The revelations in the national daily are seen as the challenge for BJP as the country is set to go for Lok Sabha polls by April-May 2018. Earlier, the Hindu had also confirmed Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s charge of defence ministery’s officials raising concern over the deal, citing defence secretary G Mohan Kumar’s remark of parallel negotiations by the PMO in the deal.
The newspaper said that the penalty for use of “Undue Influence, Agents/Agency Commission” and access to company accounts of Dassault Aviation and MDBA France were dropped by the government in the deal.
According to the report, former Defence Minister Manohar Parikar chaired the meeting of DAC in September 2016 and approved the eight changes in the intergovernmental agreement. Even, the move of government was clearly opposed by the three members of the Indian negotiating team but their stand was not considered.
Taking a dig at the government for not being transparent, former Defence Minister, P Chidambaram on Monday said that reality about Rafale deal is unravelling faster than the government had thought. He said that how a huge amount for jets was paid when there was no sovereign guarantee and bank guarantee hinting towards a letter of comfort that the Modi government secured in place of the aforementioned guarantees by the French government.
The Hindu report also alleged that present Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parikar was non-committal towards the deal.