CAG report finds Rafale price 2.86 percent lower than negotiated by UPA
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday hit out at Congress President Rahul Gandhi, saying he was distributing fake facts based on lies and misrepresentation of facts on the 36 fighter jet deal with France. His remarks came after the government on Wednesday tabled the report of the Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) in Parliament which found that the deal was 2.86 per cent lower than the price negotiated by the UPA for 126 aircraft and also felt that the present capital acquisition system is unlikely to effectively support the IAF.
"Rahul Gandhi's lies have been exposed today. In the most shameless manner, Rahul Gandhi was distributing fake facts based upon a lie, misrepresentation in the country," Prasad said, addressing a press conference at the party headquarters. He said the life of lie is not long. "The Prime Minister (Narendra Modi), Finance Minister (Arun Jaitley) and Defence Minister (Nirmala Sitharaman) and all discussed issues in Parliament. And barring one or two, who had vested interests said that the Rafale deal was necessary," he said.
He said the serving Indian Air Force officers also said that for the safety of the nation, the Rafale deal was required. "But Rahul Gandhi never discusses serious issues in Parliament as everything said there goes on record. He tells lies outside," he said.
Referring to the CAG report and the Supreme Court judgement on the Rafale deal, Prasad said, "Even two constitutional bodies have said that the process of procurement is clean and it is necessary for the safety of the nation." He said the Supreme Court on December 14, 2018, had said that it interacted with the senior IAF officers who informed the court that India's adversaries had acquired the fifth-generation stealth fighter and that India does not have a matching aircraft.
"The CAG report says for the last 15 years, no work was done. The procurement process was started in 2000. A request for proposal was made in 2007 and the bid was opened in November 2011," he said. Hitting out at the then Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, the BJP leader said, "In 15 years, you cannot do any work. And then the deal was delayed again."
Attacking Gandhi, he said, "We had thought that Rahul Gandhi will go silent on the issue. But what I said yesterday I have to repeat today that the grandson of (former Prime Minister late) Indira Gandhi and son of (former Prime Minister late) Rajiv Gandhi will shamelessly tell lies we have not imagined." "In the name of the dynasty he is on that post... there is no other qualifications he has," he added.
(With inputs from agencies.)
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