Congress rakes up Rafale deal ahead of Modi blitzkrieg in Karnataka

Congress rakes up Rafale deal ahead of Modi blitzkrieg in Karnataka

Dassault Rafale fighter jet

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tour of Karnataka, the Congress on Monday raked up the Rafale deal issue, demanding his explanation on why the Bengaluru-based HAL was “bypassed” to favour a private company.

AICC national spokesperson Randeep S Surjewala released a set of documents here to support his party’s repeated claim that there was foul play in the Rafale deal. Modi is scheduled to begin his five-day Karnataka tour from Chamarajanagar on May 1.

“The per-aircraft price during the UPA government was Rs 526.10 crore, that is Rs 18,940 crore for 36 aircraft. Modi purchased 36 Rafale aircraft for Rs 1,670.70 crore per aircraft), that is Rs 60,145 crore. This price is apparent from the 2016 annual report of the Dassault Aviation company. The BJP should explain the extra Rs 41,205 crore paid,” Surjewala told reporters.

Surjewala said Dassault Aviation had sold the same Rafale aircraft to Egypt and Qatar at lower prices.

“The deal under the UPA government involved transfer of technology to HAL and manufacture of 108 Rafale in Bengaluru and award of Rs 36,000 crore offset contract. Modi should tell the people of Karnataka why HAL was bypassed and the biggest-ever investment was thrown into the dustbin,” Surjewala said, adding that the BJP-led Centre caused a loss to the tune of Rs 36,000 crore to Karnataka. The Congress has demanded that a sitting Supreme Court judge probe the Rafale deal.