Rafale deal: BJP demands Rahul’s response on fresh ‘revelation’ by Mediapart

Indian National Congress should be renamed as ‘I Need Commission’, it says

Reacting to a French media report that commissions were paid between 2007 and 2012 for securing the Rafale deal with India, the BJP on Tuesday said the INC (Indian National Congress) should be renamed as “I Need Commission” and alleged that the failed negotiations for the aircraft took place when the Congress was in power and they failed because of the latter’s dissatisfaction with the ‘cut’.

At a press meet at the BJP headquarters here, spokesperson Sambit Patra accused the Congress especially its former president Rahul Gandhi, who has been alleging corruption in the purchase of the fighter aircraft by the Modi Government, of spreading “canard, disinformation and lies”.

Mr. Patra also sought Mr. Gandhi’s response to the fresh revelation by French investigative portal Mediapart.

Mediapart has claimed that bogus invoices were used that enabled the French aircraft maker Dassault Aviation to pay at least €7.5 million in secret commissions to a middleman to help it secure the Rafale deal with India. According to its investigation, the Dassault Aviation paid the kickbacks to the intermediary in Mauritius between 2007 and 2012 putting it in the time frame when the Congress-led UPA was in power.

Mr. Patra alleged that it was clearly the dissatisfaction of the Congress and the Gandhi family that was the main reason behind the negotiations falling through during the UPA government.

“The Mediapart story says that ‘corruption, influence-peddling and favouritism’ marked the deal during the UPA government,” he noted. “It will not be an exaggeration to say the INC be renamed as ‘I Need Commission’. Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Robert Vadra , all say that I need commission.”

The UPA Government had a deal within every deal, he said. The Congress had in the past said the allegations of corruption by the BJP against its ruling family and its members were driven by vendetta.

Mr. Patra also said the alleged middleman Sushen Mohan Gupta, whose name has cropped up in the Rafale case, was also accused of pocketing commission in the purchase of VVIP choppers. “This is too much of a coincidence, and too much of a coincidence is always a conspiracy,“ he said.

The Supreme Court and the CAG have already gone into the contents of the Rafale deal signed by the Modi Government and found nothing wrong in it, Mr. Patra said.

He said Mr. Gandhi had made the alleged corruption in the purchase a big election issue during the 2019 polls but it failed to make any impact. The BJP retained power with a bigger majority, he said.

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