New Delhi, July 23: The Congress party Lok Sabha leadership is likely to move a privilege motion against defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman for ‘misleading’ Parliament on the Rafale deal with France, a senior leader said on Monday.
The price of the aircraft has been a bone of contention between the Congress and the government. While the Congres shas been insisting that the government disclose the price, the latter insists that it can’t because of a secrecy clause in the deal with France.
At a press conference, the Congress took on the government for being cagey about the price of the aircraft.
“I have revealed in Parliament prices of many defence contracts because under the Constitution government cannot deny revealing the prices as they are scrutinised at various levels,” senior Congres leader and former defence minister A K Anthony said. “When there is no secret deal that prevents revealing the prices, how can they keep it a secret?”
Congress leader Anand Sharma insisted there was a scam that the government wants to hide.
“The price disclosed by Defence Minister before gives an approximate figure of ₹670Cr, which doesn’t add up. Prime Minister Modi now backtracking on the issue now claiming secrecy clause only proves there is a scam,” Sharma said.
“Same aircraft was sold to Egypt and Qatar with lesser cost. In new deal, price has gone up from ₹526Cr in UPA regime to ₹1670Cr under Modi govt. This is definitely a scam,” he said.
Antony said the rise in the price of the aircraft was not justified.
“There is no transfer of technology in this new deal, so it doesn’t substantiate the rise in price of aircraft”.
Source Hindustan Times