HOJAI, Sept 16: Former minister and present Hojai district Congress Committee President Dr. Ardhendu Kumar Dey stated the Rafale fighter jet deal as the country’s biggest defence scam and alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a ‘partner’ in the corruption.
Addressing to a press conference at his residence in Hojai on Sunday, Dr Dey said Rafale jet deal with France wasthe ‘biggest ever’ corruption and the ‘chowkidaar’ (watchman) has been a full ‘bhagidaar’ in this mega deal.
He said, “The cost per aircraft as per the international bid opened on December 12, 2012 was Rs 526.10 crore and eighteen aircrafts were to come from France in ‘fly away’ condition and 108 aircrafts were to be made in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited with transfer of technology. At this rate, 36 aircrafts should cost Rs 18,940 crore.”
Dey said, “On April 10, 2015, Modi announced emergency “off-the-shelf” purchase of 36 Rafale aircrafts in France at Rs 1670.70 crore per aircraft.”
“Will Modi explain why an extra amount of Rs 41,205 crore is being paid,” Dey asked.
While reports of a “secrecy clause” have surfaced, Dey claimed there is no such non-disclosure of commercial purchase price clause in the agreement between India and France.
Further, Dey asked why the number of fighter aircrafts to be purchased were reduced from 126 to 36.
“The 36 aircrafts will reach India between 2019 and 2022. With looming threats from China and Pakistan, does it not compromise national security and defeat the purpose of emergency purchase?” he said.
He said no mandatory approval of the cabinet committee on security was taken before purchase of the aircrafts, besides the mandatory defence procurement procedure was also not followed.
“Why did the Modi government allow the offset contract to be given to a company that has zero experience in manufacturing fighter aircrafts?” Dey questioned.
“Reliance Defence Limited was incorporated on March 28, 2015, just 12 days before the announcement of purchase of 36 Rafale aircrafts. Reliance Defence got the contract even though it does not have any experience in this sector,” he added.
He alleged that the government had deliberately ignored the 20 percent price reduction offer made by Eurofighter Typhoon and refused fresh bidding for lowest price.
In the original tender invited by the UPA-Congress, two fighter aircrafts were found equal on all technical fronts – Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon, said the Congress leader, adding that Eurofighter Typhoon wrote a letter on July 4, 2014 to the then defence minister, offering a 20 percent price reduction.
At last, Dr Dey informed that a memorandum relating to Rafale scam containing seven points which highlights the minute details of biggest corruption ever, has been sent to President of India Ram Nath Kovind through Deputy Commissioner of Hojai District on September 13, demanding Rafale Scam should be immediately referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) for investigation.
Hojai District Congress Commiitte General Secretary Bijay Chakraborty, Ex-MLA of Lumding Consistuency Swapan Kar, Jugijaan Block Congress President Nur Ahmed, APPC Lumding President Maya Chakraborty, Udali Block Congress Commiitte President Misbauddin Ahmed, Hojai Block Congress Committee President Amar Chand Dey, Binnakandi Block Congress President Rayanuddin, Dhalphukuri Block Congress President Sankar Malakar and Active Member of Congress Mimu Saha were present in this press meet.