Congress seeks "threadbare" CVC probe into Rafale deal

Congress seeks "threadbare" CVC probe into Rafale deal

Senior Congress leaders (L-R) Vivek Tankha, Randeep Surjewala, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Jairam Ramesh, Ahmed Patel, Anand Sharma and others leave after a meeting with CVC, K V Chowdary at Central Vigilance Commission, in New Delhi. PTI Photo

Top Congress leaders on Monday met Central Vigilance Commissioner K V Chowdary with a demand for a “threadbare” examination of the Rafale fighter aircraft deal.

“We have demanded CVC to take cognisance, to seize all files and documents related to Rafale and register an FIR,” Congress leader Anand Sharma told reporters after a party delegation comprising Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ahmed Patel, Kapil Sibal, Jairam Ramesh, Manish Tewari, Randeep Singh Surjewala, Vivek Tankha and Pramod Tiwari met the CVC.

Sharma expressed apprehension that the Narendra Modi government may destroy evidence and demanded that the CVC lodge an FIR in this regard and immediately take action.

The Congress has been claiming that the government bought the Rafale fighter aircraft at more than three times the price that was finalised by the UPA.

The Congress has also alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally changed the Rafale deal to the benefit of his “crony capitalist” friend Anil Ambani.

“Government is bound to provide full information to the CVC, entire deal, its contours, nature of contract, absence of favouritism, corruption, crony capitalism, violation of law and procedures and the principles of level playing field are part of CVC’s domain to examine and to return a finding,” the Congress said in the memorandum submitted to the CVC.

“We, therefore, request the CVC to undertake its statutory duty by examining record threadbare, so that corruption, crony capitalism, violation of law and procedure and loss to the public exchequer is brought out as the earliest,” the main opposition party said.

The meeting comes a week after a Congress delegation approached the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and urged the government auditor to prepare a report on the alleged irregularities in the deal and present it in Parliament.

Before the Congress delegation met the CVC, party president Rahul Gandhi quoted a French website which claimed that Hollande told them France was given no offset option but Anil Ambani.

The Congress leaders also submitted about two dozen documents as an annexure to their complaint which included a French media report on former French president Francois Hollande that claimed that the Indian government suggested Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence as the offset partner for the Rafale deal.

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