Swaraj Abhiyan leader Prashant Bhushan today questioned the NDA government that why Thales was not blacklisted when Defence Minister “knew” that it had paid commissions in Scorpene submarine deal and also why Rafale deal was done with Dassault which bought that company.
“Why was Thales not blacklisted even after the Defence Minister (Manohar Parrikar) knew that it had paid commissions in the Scorpene submarine deal?
“Why was Rafale deal done with the same company which should have been blacklisted due to its paying commissions in the Scorpene submarine deal?” Bhushan said in a statement.
The Swaraj Abhiyan leader, two days ago, had alleged in a press conference that despite having all the details, BJP government did not blacklist Thales, the company that sold scam-tainted Scorpene submarines, which was acquired by Dassault.India recently signed a deal with Dassault for 36 Rafale aircraft.He had also claimed that any action against Thales may have jeopardised the Rafale deal.
“Moreover, contrary to previous announcements of getting 126 aircraft, the government bought 36 aircraft, paying double the price for individual units. It certainly appears to be the case that something is fishy,” Bhushan had said.He claimed the price gone up from Rs 700 crore per aircraft to almost Rs 1600 crore.
“The Rafale deal could well be the Bofors of the BJP. One might recall that when the Bofors scandal erupted, Rajiv Gandhi was known as Mr Clean and that his response was also the same; that the Bofors deal was the best deal that could be struck by the government, that the Bofors guns were the best, and, thereafter a farcical CBI enquiry was done to whitewash this matter,” Bhushan added.
He had also alleged that BJP MP Varun Gandhi had leaked defence secrets to middleman Abhishek Verma and arms manufacturers after being “honey trapped”, a charge the BJP leader stoutly denied.