Modi government trying to bury Rafale scam: A K Antony

Modi government trying to bury Rafale scam: Congress leader A K Antony

He said the series of events and documents in public records have now affirmed the stance of the Congress

Former Defence Minister A K Antony. Credit: PTI File Photo

Senior Congress leader and former Defence Minister A K Antony on Monday claimed that the Modi government's refusal to order a probe into the fresh revelations of the Rafale deal is a “concerted attempt to bury the scam.”

Antony alleged that “prima facie corruption in the Rafale deal is now apparent”, as the French Public Prosecution Services has appointed a judge to investigate "corruption, influence peddling and brazen favouritism" in the deal of 36 aircraft.

“The intriguing silence of the Modi government points towards mal-intent to hush up the corruption. The refusal of the BJP government to probe and punish the guilty is even more astonishing, pointing towards a concerted effort to bury the scam,” the former defence minister said.

Read more: Congress questions Centre's silence on Rafale probe in France

He said the series of events and documents in public records have now affirmed the stance of the Congress party about “wrongdoing and corruption” in the Rafale deal.

“Can Modi government escape accountability for corruption allegations by its intriguing silence? Is it not the responsibility of the government to come forward and accept the truth,” Antony asked.

The senior Congress leader said this is even more important as 36 aircraft are being purchased by India under an inter-governmental agreement and one party to the agreement – the French government has proceeded to order an investigation through a judge.

“The only way forward is to accept accountability and order a free and fair JPC probe into the entire set of facts, evidence and allegations of corruption in the Rafale deal,” he said.

Antony alleged that Prime Minister Modi went to Paris on April 10, 2015, and unilaterally announced the purchase of 36 Rafale aircraft “without going through any tender process and in complete derogation of the Defence Procurement Procedure.”

He claimed that every defence expert was shocked by this unilateral order which is India’s biggest defence deal.