Who was PMO trying to shield: Cong on report of govt dropping anti-corruption clause in Rafale deal
New Delhi, Feb 11: Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress on Monday accused him of waving off anti-corruption clauses just before signing the Rafale deal with France.
A report published by The Hindu with the title 'Government waived anti-corruption clauses in Rafale deal' said that the central government waived off critical provisions for anti-corruption penalties as well as overruled financial advisers' recommendations for making payments through an escrow account just days before signing the Rafale jet deal with France.
The report explained that as a result of "the high-level political intervention meant that standard Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) clauses on 'Penalty for use of Undue Influence, Agents/Agency Commission, and Access to Company accounts' of Dassault Aviation and MBDA France were dropped by the Indian government in the supply protocols. Under the terms of the IGA signed between India and France in Delhi on September 23, 2016, Dassault is the supplier of the Rafale aircraft package while MBDA France is the supplier of the weapons package to the Indian Air Force."
Taking to Twitter, Congress said that the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) disregarded the advice given to it.
After the PMO forced the waiver of a sovereign guarantee, it now turns out the PMO asked for the WAIVER of standard ANTI-CORRUPTION clauses. Who was the PMO trying to shield?— Congress (@INCIndia) February 11, 2019
There is no doubt that #ChowkidarChorHai https://t.co/PazfiurSHf
Advocate Prashant Bhushan also took a potshot and tweeted:
Now we know why Modi refuses to show docs of Rafale deal; Why they're scared of any enquiry: JPC/CBI/any agency. Leaked papers now show that Modi not only pushed the deal which kicked HAL out & brought Ambani in, he also ensured that Dassault gets our money without any safeguards https://t.co/cRTneTK35x— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) February 11, 2019
This comes out days after the newspaper had earlier claimed that the PMO was carrying out "parallel negotiations" with the French side and that that defence ministry had "strongly" objected to this in a note saying this weakens its negotiating powers in the deal.
The Congress has been attacking the BJP, and PM Modi in particular, for alleged irregularities in the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from French defence manufacturer Dassault Aviation.