CAG report on Rafale deal: Congress adamant on JPC demand, stages walkout in Lok Sabha

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Updated:Feb 12, 2019 5:44:08 pm

Rafale news: The Congress on Tuesday staged a walkout in the Lok Sabha after its demand for a JPC probe into the Rafale deal was rejected by the Speaker.

cag report rafale dealCG Rafale report: Modi government to report in Lok Sabha

Rafale deal CAG report: The Congress party on Tuesday reiterated its demand of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into Rafale deal in the Lok Sabha. The Congress MPs even staged a walkout after their demand was rejected by the Speaker. Alleging corruption, Kharge said a JPC probe was needed to probe the deal. He also demanded discussion on the issue to which the Speaker said a debate had already taken place in the House. Kharge claimed that the CAG report on defence was tabled before the Rajya Sabha and was leaked, adding that the report was not tabled before Lok Sabha.

Earlier, the Indian Air Force (IAF) said that delivery of Rafale fighter jets are on its schedule and that the first aircraft will reach India in September this year. The statement comes in the midst of massive political slugfest with both BJP and Congress attacking each other. Earlier today, Congress president Rahul Gandhi sought initiation of criminal proceedings against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and alleged that he acted as the middleman for industrialist Anil Ambani in the defence deal for purchase of Rafale fighter jets. He was referring to a report published in The Indian Express on Tuesday which claimed that Anil Ambani had met top French Defence officials just a few weeks ahead of PM Modi’s France visit in April 2015. Rahul’s renewed attack against the PM came on a day the Centre is set to table the CAG report on the defence deal. Rahul also rubbished the CAG report and termed it as the “Chowkidaar Auditor General” report.

Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Rajiv Mehrishi on Monday submitted the report on Rafale deal to President Ram Nath Kovind. The Modi government is likely to table the report in Lok Sabha on Tuesday, a day before the first part of Budget Session culminates. This is the last session of the 16th Lok Sabha ahead of the general elections. The Lok Sabha polls are due in April-May.

The Rafale deal between India and France has generated a massive political controversy just ahead of the general elections. Both the ruling BJP and opposition Congress have been attacking each other. While the main opposition Congress has been leveling allegations of corruption and impropriety, the ruling dispensation has been defending the move and accusing the Congress of weakening the defence forces.

Rafale deal: Anil Ambani visited France weeks ahead of PM Modi’s 2015 trip, met top Defence officials

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    15:56 (IST)12 Feb 2019
    Reliance Defence Spokesperson responds

    Reliance Defence Spokesperson while responding to Congress said that the purported emails that have been referred by the Congress Party regarding the discussion between Airbus and Reliance Defence regarding Civil & Defence Helicopter Programs under ‘Make in India.” The spokesperson added that the discussions on proposed MoU were clearly with reference to cooperation between Airbus Helicopter and Reliance. 'It had no connection whatsoever with Government to Government Agreement between France and India for 36 Rafale aircraft,' he added.

    15:15 (IST)12 Feb 2019
    CAG report on Rafale LIVE: Congress demands JPC, stages walkout in Lok Sabha

    The Congress Tuesday staged a walkout in the Lok Sabha after its demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the Rafale deal was rejected. Kharge tried to speak but Speaker Sumitra Mahajan did not allow and continued with the business of the House. Alleging corruption, Kharge said a JPC probe was needed to probe the deal.

    13:51 (IST)12 Feb 2019
    First Rafale sircraft delivery in September 2019: IAF official

    An Indian Air Force official tld ANI that Rafale programme is on schedule and first aircraft to be delivered in September this year. The delivery to take place in France and the aircraft will be brought back to India.

    13:17 (IST)12 Feb 2019
    Rafale Deal CAG Report Live Updates: Rahul Gandhi working as a lobbyist for competitive aircraft supplier companies, says Ravi Shankar Prasad

    Ravi Shankar Prasad said that Rahul Gandhi is working as a lobbyist for competitive aircraft supplier companies. From where did he get the email of Airbus? 'Airbus itself is under cloud for deals during UPA regime,' he said.

    13:14 (IST)12 Feb 2019
    CAG Report on Rafale Deal Live: Rahul Gandhi's allegations baseless, says Ravi Shankar Prasad

    Responding to Rahul Gandhi's charges, senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said that Rahul Gandhi is levelling baseless allegations. He even questioned how come Rahul got access to Airbus executive's mail.

    13:11 (IST)12 Feb 2019
    Rafale to boost combat capabilities, says IAF Vice Chief Anil Khosla

    Meanwhile, Indian Air Force Vice Chief Anil Khosla said that Rafale induction into the Air Force will give a big boost to our combat capabilities. The IAF will get 36 Rafale fighter jets from France under the agreement signed between India and France in 2016.

    13:11 (IST)12 Feb 2019
    Rafale to boost combat capabilities, says IAF Vice Chief Anil Khosla

    Meanwhile, Indian Air Force Vice Chief Anil Khosla said that Rafale induction into the Air Force will give a big boost to our combat capabilities. The IAF will get 36 Rafale fighter jets from France under the agreement signed between India and France in 2016.

    12:47 (IST)12 Feb 2019
    Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2 PM

    Meanwhile, the Rajya Sabha proceedings were Tuesday adjourned till 2 PM following uproar by Samajwadi Party members after party chief Akhilesh Yadav was allegedly stopped at Lucknow airport while on his way to Allahabad. Trouble started after as many as 15 members made zero hour mention on issues of public importance.

    12:46 (IST)12 Feb 2019
    Lok Sabha adjourned amid slogan shouting by Congress MPs

    The proceedings of Lok Sabha were adjourned for nearly 20 minutes during Question Hour amid slogan shouting by Congress members over the Rafale issue. Amid sloganeering in the Well, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan continued with the Question Hour for nearly 25 minutes. But a peeved Speaker adjourned the House for nearly 20 minutes.

    12:46 (IST)12 Feb 2019
    Lok Sabha adjourned amid slogan shouting by Congress MPs

    The proceedings of Lok Sabha were adjourned for nearly 20 minutes during Question Hour amid slogan shouting by Congress members over the Rafale issue. Amid sloganeering in the Well, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan continued with the Question Hour for nearly 25 minutes. But a peeved Speaker adjourned the House for nearly 20 minutes.

    12:16 (IST)12 Feb 2019
    Rahul Gandhi rejects CAG report, dubs it 'Chowkidar Auditor General' report

    Rahul Gandhi also rejected CAG report on Rafale and termed it 'Chowkidar Auditor General' report. Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Rajiv Mehrishi on Monday submitted the report on Rafale deal to President Ram Nath Kovind. The Modi government is likely to table the report in Lok Sabha today.

    12:14 (IST)12 Feb 2019
    Rafale deal: Rahul Gandhi seeks criminal proceedings against PM Modi

    Rahul Gandhi said that Anil Ambani knew he was going to get Rafale deal. "What PM has done is treason and in violation of Official Secrets Act," he said. The Congress president added that what PM has done is criminal and that itself puts him in jail. "PM has compromised national security, he has given defence secret to a person who should not have it".

    11:47 (IST)12 Feb 2019
    PM Modi acted as a middleman for Anil Ambani, says Rahul Gandhi

    Addressing the media in Delhi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi cited a report published in The Indian Express to renew his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over Rafale deal. Rahul said that PM Modi acted as a middleman for Anil Ambani.

    11:38 (IST)12 Feb 2019
    Rafale deal in Parliament: Congress moves suspension notice in Rajya Sabha

    Congress leader Anand Sharma has given suspension of business rules notice in Rajya Sabha over 'irregularities and alleged corruption in acquisition of Rafale fighter jets.

    11:38 (IST)12 Feb 2019
    Rafale deal in Parliament: Congress moves suspension notice in Rajya Sabha

    Congress leader Anand Sharma has given suspension of business rules notice in Rajya Sabha over 'irregularities and alleged corruption in acquisition of Rafale fighter jets.

    11:22 (IST)12 Feb 2019
    Rafale deal explained

    India and France had in 2015 announced the deal. The deal was, however, signed in 2016. Under the agreement, France will supply 36 Rafale fighter jets to Indian Air Force at a value of euro 7.87 billion (Rs 59,000 crore). The agreement includes a 50% obligation, the largest-ever offset contract in the history of India. Soon after the deal, Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group and Dassault Aviation, the maker of Rafale, had announced a joint venture (JV) that will be a “key player” in fulfilling the offset contract. The tender to buy 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) for the Air Force was floated by the Congress-led UPA government in 2007. However, the Congress-led government under the leadership of Manmohan Singh could not finalise the deal.

    11:09 (IST)12 Feb 2019
    Rafale deal CAG report Live Updates: Anil Ambani visited France ahead of deal announcement

    A report in The Indian Express claimed that Anil Ambani had visited France in March 2015 to meet top French Defence officials. His visit came just a fortnight ahead of PM Narendra Modi's scheduled France visit on April 9. It was during this trip, PM Modi had announced to procure 36 Rafale fighter jets from France. Interestingly, Anil Ambani was also part of the delegation that Modi was heading during his France visit. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

    11:04 (IST)12 Feb 2019
    If Lokpal implemented, PM would be accused No. 1: Congress

    The Congress party on Monday said that the government is not implementing the Lokpal Bill only to protect Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Party leader Veerappa Moily said that PM Modi perhaps will be the number one accused in Rafale fighter jets deal. "It is crystal clear because if that was to be implemented, perhaps, the present PM would have been the No. 1 accused in that (Rafale) case. That is why, he is afraid. That is why, there is also no JPC," Moily said.

    10:54 (IST)12 Feb 2019
    What is the Rafale deal controversy?

    The ruling BJP and opposition Congress are at war with both sides ruthlessly attacking Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The bone of contention is multi-crore Rafale fighter jets agreement between India and France that was signed on September 23 in 2016. Even after Supreme Court made it clear that deal was signed as per the set procedure, the Congress has refused to say away from attacking the Modi government. The party's president Rahul Gandhi last week said that PM Narendra Modi was directly involved in the deal and that Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has lied because of pressure from the PM. The BJP, on its part, has been attacking the Congress and its president for misleading the country and accused him of compromising with security.

    10:41 (IST)12 Feb 2019
    Rahul Gandhi provoking armed forces against government: Nirmala Sitharaman

    Last Friday, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman rejected Congress president Rahul Gandhi's charge that Prime Minister Narendra Modi ran parallel negotiation for the Rafale deal. She even acccused Rahul of provoking the armed forces against the government. "Today I object to what Rahul has said -- he was telling Air Force pilots and officers 'look what Prime Minister is doing to you'. What does this mean, what is going on in his mind? Does he want to provoke them? Does he want to make them stand up against the government? Is it a responsible job of the Opposition? It is very dangerous," she said while reponding to Rahul's charge that PM Modi was directly involved in the Rafale fighter jet deal with France by running parallel negotiation in 2015.

    10:25 (IST)12 Feb 2019
    Rahul Gandhi misleading country on Rafale deal, says Rajnath Singh

    Union Home minister and Senior BJP leader and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has alleged that Congress president Rahul Gandhi is misleading the country on the Rafale issue. Rajnath said that no one can question the intention and honesty of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "Rahul Gandhi is spreading false facts and illusion on the issue even after the Defence Minister explained everything in the Parliament," he said.

    09:53 (IST)12 Feb 2019
    CAG report on Rafale deal: Air Marshal SBP Sinha speaks about MoD's 'leaked note'

    Air Marshal (retd.) SBP Sinha had headed the Indian Negotiating Team that finalised the Rafale deal with France. Last week, he dismissed a controversial leaked note of the MoD claiming interference by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) as mischievous. Air Marshal Sinha said that he has never seen the note which has nothing to do with the negotiating team. Expressing surprise that such a document has been used to malign the contract, Air Marshal Sinha said all the papers related to the contract was in the Indian Air Force (IAF) files. The clarification came in the wake of Congress president Rahul Gandhi who cited a media report to claim that PMO ran a parallel negotiation and accused PM Modi of benefiting Anil Ambani with Rs 30,000 crore.

    09:35 (IST)12 Feb 2019
    PMO not a party to Rafale deal, says ex-Defence secretary

    Former Defence Secretary G. Mohankumar has given a clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and PMO over alleged interference into the negotiation of Rafale deal with France. It was under Mohankumar's tenure the Rafale deal was finalised. Mohankumar's clarification came after a media report came out with his file notings about the Rafale deal. Mohankumar said that when a deal of this nature takes place between two countries, there is nothing wrong even if the PMs of involved countries speak on it.

    09:12 (IST)12 Feb 2019
    CAG report on Rafale another cover-up: Congress

    The Congress has cited a conflict of interest to say the CAG exercise is a cover-up of the alleged scam. In a memorandum to CAG Rajiv Meharishi on Sunday, the Congress said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is guilty of compromising national security. It also criticised the BJP for being opaque, intransient, obscure and obstinate to cover up the layers of corruption in the Rafale deal.

    "You (CAG Rajiv Mehrishi) were the Finance Secretary from October 29, 2014 to August 30, 2015, including at the time of unilateral announcement for purchase of 36 Rafale aircraft. Even at the time of cancellation of the 126 aircraft MMRCA deal you were the Finance Secretary. Consequently, you were directly involved in the Rafale deal on both these occasions as the Finance Secretary. Not only this, you were also involved in negotiations of the deal as a representatives of the Finance Ministry," the Congress said in the memorandum.

    08:43 (IST)12 Feb 2019
    Rafale deal: Now Mamaywati questions Modi government

    BSP supremo Mayawati has launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over Rafale deal. While citing a newspaper report, Mayawati said that the anti-corruption clause in the controversial Rafale jet deal had been waived off by the Prime Minister himself. She also accused the Prime Minister of giving himself self-importance at the cost of national security.

    08:21 (IST)12 Feb 2019
    Rafale deal: What's in CAG repot?

    The CAG report on the purchase of Rafale fighter jets is unlikely to reveal the price. According to media reports, the report has the price details of the deal but the same is likely to be removed before the report is made public due secrecy clauses. The CAG document, titled Capital Acquisitions of the Indian Air Force, runs into two volumes. While one volume talks about the Rafale deal and throws light upon the pricing and the acquisition process of the deal, the second throws light upon other acquisitions of the IAF.

    08:01 (IST)12 Feb 2019
    Rafale deal: It is BJP vs Congress

    The Rafale deal was even raised before the Supreme Court but the top court did not find any substance in the opposition parties' allegations. However, the issue has continued to rock Parliament with Congress president Rahul Gandhi directly accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of benefiting Anil Ambani.

    07:43 (IST)12 Feb 2019
    Rafale deal CAG report: Arun Jaitley slams Sibal

    Senior BJP leader and Union minister Arun Jaitley has rebutted the claims of Congress saying that the party was casting aspersions on the institution of CAG based on falsehood. "Another attack on the institution of CAG by the 'Institution wreckers' based on falsehood. After ten years in government former UPA ministers still don't know that Finance Secretary is only a designation given to the senior most secretary in the finance ministry," Jaitley said on Sunday while reponding to Sibal's suggestion to CAG Rajiv Mehrishi that he should recuse himself from audit.

    07:43 (IST)12 Feb 2019
    Rafale deal CAG report: Arun Jaitley slams Sibal

    Senior BJP leader and Union minister Arun Jaitley has rebutted the claims of Congress saying that the party was casting aspersions on the institution of CAG based on falsehood. "Another attack on the institution of CAG by the 'Institution wreckers' based on falsehood. After ten years in government former UPA ministers still don't know that Finance Secretary is only a designation given to the senior most secretary in the finance ministry," Jaitley said on Sunday while reponding to Sibal's suggestion to CAG Rajiv Mehrishi that he should recuse himself from audit.

    07:33 (IST)12 Feb 2019
    CAG report on Rafale deal: Why Congress asked CAG Rajiv Mehrishi to recuse himself from audit?

    Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal has alleged conflict of interest and asked CAG Rajiv Mehrishi to recuse himself from auditing the Rafale deal as he was the finance secretary when the deal was negotiated. On Sunday, Sibal said that Mehrishi was the finance secretary from October 24, 2014 to August 30, 2015 and in between Prime Minister Narendra Modi went to Paris on April 10, 2015 and announced the signing of the Rafale deal. "Finance Ministry plays an important role in these negotiations...Now it is clear that the Rafale deal happened under Rajeev Mehrishi. Now he is CAG. We met him twice on September 19 and October 4, 2018. We told him about the scam. We told him that the deal should be probed because it is corrupt. But how can he initiate a probe against himself," he said.

    Lucknow: Congress president Rahul Gandhi holds a model of Rafale aircraft during a roadshow along with the party general secretaries Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Jyotiraditya Scindia, in Lucknow.The Modi government and Congress are involved in a slug fest over the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France. While the Congress has been alleging scam in the deal with its president Rahul Gandhi claiming PM Narendra Modi brokered the deal to benefit Anil Ambani, the BJP has rubbished all such accusations. Recently, Rahul Gandhi cited a news report to claim that the PMO ran a parallel negotiation with the French government in 2015. He said PM Modi was directly involved in the deal with France as he was running a parallel negotiation. On the hand, the Modi government has rejects all charges. In the Lok Sabha, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman rubbished the media report and hit out at the Congress over its attack on the government. The minister said that Congress is flogging a dead horse to keep the issue alive. As far as the purchase of Rafale fighter jets are concerned, the process of buying 126 fighter jets began in June 2001 when late BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee was heading a coalition government. Under the original proposal, 18 fighter jets were to be procured in a fly-away condition and the remaining 108 aircraft were to be manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The bidding process had started in August 2007 when Manmohan Singh was heading the Congress-led UPA government. The negotiations went on until 2014, when the BJP dethroned Congress. In April 2015, the Modi government announced its decision to sign USD 8.7 billion government-to-government deal with France to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets. The agreement between the two sides was, however, signed in 2016. The new deal replaced previous decision to buy 126 Rafale aircraft.