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Rafale deal: Congress to move to court after getting 'necessary documents'

By PTI
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    Indore, Sep 2: Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Sunday claimed the Narendra Modi government did not have answers in the Rafale fighter jet deal and his party would wait for getting the necessary documents before moving court on the matter.

    Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal

    The Congress has been relentlessly attacking the NDA government over its deal with Dassault Aviation to buy 36 fighter aircraft, with the opposition party claiming the cost per aircraft was about three times higher when compared to the one inked by the previous UPA government.

    "The Rafale deal is a big scam to which the Modi government does not have any answer. This deal was struck overlooking the provisions of the Aircraft Procurement Policy. The External Affairs and Defence ministries were not taken into consideration before inking the deal," Sibal told reporters here.

    Asked why the Congress was not moving court despite having renowned lawyers like himself and former Union minister P Chidambaram, Sibal said, "We won't move the court until we get necessary documents in the case."

    [Rafale issue will drop 'big bunker buster bombs' shortly, warns Rahul]

    Explaining his party's objection to the deal, Sibal said the Congress-led UPA government had struck a deal in 2012 to buy the aircraft at Rs 560 crore each. He claimed the Modi government junked this deal and inked a new one in 2016 in which the price of each of the French-built aircraft rose to Rs 1,600 crore.

    "We are not seeking information on the technology used to manufacture the aircraft. We just want to know on what basis the NDA government inked the deal to buy the aircraft at three times its 2012 cost," Sibal said.

    Sibal, reiterating Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's demand, sought a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into Rafale deal. Asked whether the BJP was hitting back at the Congress by raking up the Bofors deal of the 1980s, Sibal dubbed such leaders from the ruling party as "big liars".

    [Decoding Rafale deal: From allegations to counter-allegations]

    "Has anything happened in Bofors deal yet? The court has acquitted the people. But we will see how these people come out clean of the Rafale deal accusations after 2019," Sibal said.

    To a query on the FIR registered against Robert Vadra, the brother in law of party chief Rahul Gandhi, and former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, over alleged irregularities in a land deal in Gurugram, Sibal said, "We already knew that as the countdown to the 2019 general polls begins, such cases (against us) would rise."

    PTI

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