New Delhi: Once again, Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s fresh attempt to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi falls flat.

Gandhi cited a news report by The Hindu newspaper, which said that the BJP-led central government waived off the standard clauses in the defence procurement procedure while signing the Rafale deal. This included important provisions for the anti-corruption clause and making payments through an escrow account.

However, senior ministry officials claim that it was not NDA which deviated from the standard clause, but the UPA itself in 2013 came up with a policy that allows the defence ministry to not follow the laid down rules.

The Hindu report claimed that the agreement for acquiring 36 Rafale jets gave major concessions to the Dassault Aviation. But the ministry sources said the Indian Negotiation Team in the Rafale deal had relied on provisions of the DPP-2013 when the UPA government was in power.

“NoMo anti-corruption clause. The Chowkidar himself opened the door to allow Anil Ambani to steal 30,000 Cr. from the IAF,” Gandhi tweeted tagging the report.

It was in 2013 when AK Anthony was the defence minister, the UPA government came up with a new policy which allows the defence ministry to not follow the laid down rules and sign inter-governmental agreements with friendly foreign countries as per mutually agreed provisions between both sides.

“There may be occasions when procurements would have to be done from friendly foreign countries which may be necessitated due to geo-strategic advantages that are likely to accrue to our country. Such procurements would not classically follow the Standard Procurement Procedure and the Standard Contract Document but would be based on mutually agreed provisions by the Governments of both the countries. Such procurements will be done based on an Inter-Governmental Agreement after clearance from CFA (Competent Financial Authority),” the para 71 of the Defence Procurement Procedure, 2013 clarifies.

The sources claim no change in the policy was made by the BJP government and they were merely following old practices.

Earlier, a similar attempt was made by the Congress president based on a ‘biased’ news report published by The Hindu newspaper. The report accused the Prime Minister’s Office of interfering in the negotiation with France on Rafale deal.

It was later revealed that the report mentioned only the partial document of the ministry of defence (MoD). The same letter had a hand-written remark from Parrikar which exposed the half-truth shown by the paper.