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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.

Who was PMO trying to shield: Congress on report of Centre dropping anti-corruption clause in Rafale

['Over-reaction': Manohar Parrikar reply to MoD dissent note on Rafale]

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.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan also took a potshot and tweeted:

[Sitharaman counters Rahul's Rafale charges in LS, says 'it is like flogging a dead horse']

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.

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