RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel on Wednesday questioned the Union government’s silence over “corruption” in the Rafale fighter jet deal and asked why it has not formed a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the issue.
The Rafale deal has now become an international issue, he claimed, speaking to reporters here. “Time and again (Congress leader) Rahul Gandhi has raised the issue of Rafale deal. Before the last Lok Sabha elections, he had predominantly raised the issue. Now it has become an international issue and be it France or other countries, the governments there have been taking action,” Baghel said.
“But what is the reason that the Government of India is silent on the issue?” he asked.
Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s past refrain of ‘Na Khaunga, Na Khane Dunga’ (I will not take bribe, nor will I allow others to take bribe), he said when people’s “hard-earned money is being misused in commissions” and irregularities were being highlighted by the media, Modi should provide answers.
“Rahul Gandhi had demanded a JPC to probe the deal. If there is no irregularity in the procurement (of fighter planes), why the Centre is hesitating to constitute a JPC,” the chief minister asked.
A fresh war of words erupted on Tuesday after a report in the French media alleged that bogus invoices were used to enable French aircraft maker Dassault Aviation to pay at least 7.5 million euros in commission to a middleman to help it secure the fighter jet deal with India. Commission was paid between 2007 and 2012, when the Congress-led UPA was in power, the report claimed.
The BJP accused the Congress leadership of corruption citing the report. The opposition party highlighted the report’s claim that the CBI and ED had information about payment of commission, and asked why the Modi government did not initiate an investigation.




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