Rahul Gandhi has made allegations on the decision-making process, the pricing of the aircraft and offset partner. Before the CAG proved that his allegations were bogus, the Supreme Court had given its ruling on the three issues and held Congress allegations baseless.
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on Rafale deal has exposed the lies peddled by Congress president Rahul Gandhi. The report not only showed that the deal signed by the NDA government in 2016 was cheaper than what was negotiated by the previous UPA regime, but also the delivery schedule of the jet was better by five months.
Gandhi has made allegations on the decision-making process, the pricing of the aircraft and offset partner. Before the CAG proved that his allegations were bogus, the Supreme Court had given its ruling on the three issues and held Congress allegations baseless.
The apex court also said there is no need for a probe into the Rafale deal.
Check out the latest instances where Gandhi’s lies were exposed
Lie #1. UPA's Rafale deal was better
Gandhi said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's claim that the Rafale deal signed by his government was better than the one prepared during the UPA 2 regime now stands “demolished”, especially after the CAG report. In his tweet, Rahul Gandhi said, "The PM defended his personal Rafale bypass deal on two counts : 1) Better price, and 2) Faster delivery. Both have been demolished by the revelations in The Hindu today."
Moreover, the CAG reported tabled in parliament shows that with regard to India specific enhancements, the deal was 17.08% cheaper. In terms of engineering support package and performance based logistics, the deal was 6.54% expensive, it stated. The NDA deal was 2.86% cheaper than the one negotiated by the UPA government in 2007
Lie #2. Integrity clause waived off for Rafale alone
Rahul 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 anti-corruption clause and making payments through an escrow account. The Hindu report also claimed that the agreement for acquiring 36 Rafale jets gave major concessions to the Dassault Aviation.
However, the ministry sources said that the Indian negotiation team in the Rafale deal had relied on provisions of the DPP-2013 when the UPA government was in power.
Meanwhile, senior ministry officials claimed that it was not NDA which deviated from the standard clause but the UPS itself in 2013 came up with a policy that allows the defence ministry to not follow the rules.
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.
Lie #3. Cropping it like The Hindu
Rahul Gandhi has been alleging irregularities in the Rafale deal for quite some time now. He intensified his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi after The Hindu published a 2015 internal note in which the defence ministry expressed its strong reservations to "parallel negotiations" conducted by the Prime Minister's Office with France on the deal.
The Hindu report mentioned only the partial document of the ministry of defence (MoD). The news report said that in a 2015 letter sent by the then defence secretary G Mohan Kumar to the then defence minister Manohar Parrikar, expressed concerns of the PMO's interference with negotiations in the Rafale deal.
But the report failed to produce the complete fact. The same letter had a hand-written note from Parrikar which exposes the half-truth shown by the paper.
“It appears that PMO and French President office are monitoring the progress of the issue which was an outcome of the summit meeting. Para 5 appears to be an overreaction. Defence Secretary (G Mohan Kumar) may resolve the matter in consultation with Principal Secretary to PM,” Parrikar said in his response to Kumar on 11 January 2016.
Lie #4. Anil Ambani, a crony, benefited from the deal
Rahul Gandhi said that PM Modi was "acting as Anil Ambani's middleman." He was citing an email that, he said, revealed that the industrialist had visited Paris and met with the French defence minister ten days before the Modi himself went there and announced the 36-jet deal with France.
Rahul Gandhi said by leaking information on the RAFALE MOU in advance to Anil Ambani, the PM has broken the Official Secrets Act and compromised the national security, opening himself up to criminal prosecution. However, later it was found that the meeting between Airbus and Reliance was over a helicopter deal and not about Rafale. The email being referred by the Congress party is regarding the discussion between Airbus and Reliance Defence regarding Civil and Defence Helicopter Programs under 'Make in India'.
Gandhi also alleged that Anil Ambani has got a Rs 30,000 crore contract from Dassault on Rafale jets. However, not only that there is no source to confirm the amount, Reliance Defence, it was later revealed, was merely making cones of Falcon planes.
"Purported email being referred by the Congress Party is regarding the discussion between Airbus and Reliance Defence for Civil & Defence Helicopter Programs under ‘Make in India. Discussion on proposed MoU was 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," said a Reliance Defence statement, which was realised as a reaction to Rahul Gandhi's press conference following the questionable report in The Hindu.
Lie #5. Finance secretary deals with defence contracts
Comptroller and auditor general of India (CAG) Rajiv Mehrishi, submitted the report on Rafale deal to President Ram Nath Kovind. In 2014-15, the present CAG was secretary (Economic Affairs) in the ministry of finance. Being the senior most at one point of time, he was also designated as the finance secretary. But no file or paper relating to the Rafale transaction ever reached him nor was he in any way, directly or indirectly, associated with the decision making on defence purchases.
The Congress has been attacking the CAG, alleging that his report wouldn't be objective as Mehrishi was the finance secretary when the negotiations started. Commenting on the CAG report on the controversial deal, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said, “CAG report is for the chowkidar and by the chowkidar. The gentleman who is making the CAG report is party to these decisions.”
Lie #6. Quoting different prices of Rafale at different points in time
Gandhi has quoted four different prices for the Rafale deal in the past five months.
Initially, Gandhi said Modi increased the price of each Rafale aircraft Rs 1,500 crore but it later became Rs 1,600 crore during his landmark speech calling for a no-confidence motion against Modi government.
In less than three weeks from the Parliament speech, the Congress president said that the cost for each Rafale aircraft during the UPA rule was Rs 540 crore — a Rs 20 crore rise from Rs 520 crore.
Lastly, during Bidar and Hyderabad rallies, Gandhi said that the prices of the aircraft were Rs 526 crore each.
Lie #7. Modi govt deprived HAL
HAL said that there was no question for the Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) getting involved in the Rafale deal because HAL does not take offset contracts.
HAL's chairman and managing director R Madhavan said that his company was not contending to be an offset partner of any original equipment manufacturer. He also said that HAL would like to be a "total technology transfer partner" for production of aircraft.
Lie #8. 'I spoke to François Hollande'
Gandhi claimed that he spoke to France’s former president François Hollande. However, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, during a show on Republic TV, said that the media should make the Congress president to sit down and give minute to minute details about his visit with the former President of France or the current President of France.
Lie #9. Casting aspersions on CAG
Gandhi while calling the CAG report worthless, said that he would term it as a ‘Chowkidar Auditor General Report’. He also said that Modi acting as the middleman of Anil Ambani in the Rafale deal.
Union minister Arun Jaitley alleged that the Congress was casting aspersions on the institution of CAG based on "falsehoods".
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 a series of tweets.
Lie #10. No faith in IAF officers, Supreme Court
A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had dismissed all the petitions seeking a direction to the CBI to register an FIR for alleged irregularities in the Rafale deal and gave a clean chit to the Modi-led government.
After the Supreme Court rejected a plea to probe the allegations of corruption in the Rafale aircraft deal, an ex-senior Air Force officer who was attacked by the Congress for defending the contract while in service, said the apex court order had “put a seal of truth” on it.
“I think the Supreme Court has wisely captured the essence of a very complex subject and they have come to a correct conclusion. All us if who were in the game always knew that how clean (the deal) was and now the Supreme Court has put a seal of truth on it,” ex-Air Force vice-chief Air Marshal SB Deo had told MyNation.
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Last Updated Feb 13, 2019, 9:47 PM IST