BJP leader Sambit Patra sought Rahul Gandhi’s response to the fresh revelation by French investigative journal Mediapart.
Aday after a French journal alleged that kickbacks were paid between 2007 and 2012 to a middleman involved in the Rafale deal, senior BJP leader Sambit Patra said that INC (Indian National Congress) stood for ‘I need Commission’.
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Sambit Patra lashed out at the Congress over alleged corruption during its regime before 2014 and sought Rahul Gandhi’s response to the fresh revelation by French investigative journal Mediapart.
“INC (Indian National Congress) means ‘I need Commission’. Rahul Gandhi should reply from Italy. What has been exposed is that this scam took place during his government’s regime. The negotiation that took place over 10 years was not for a deal, but for commission. We didn’t see an agreement for purchase, but there was an ‘agreement of commission’. The commission was payable at the rate of 40%,” Sambit Patra said.
“The address of corruption is 10 Janpath. However, since the BJP government has come to power, it has been rendered ‘homeless’,” Sambit Patra said, referring to Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s official residence in Delhi.
Mediapart claimed that alleged bogus invoices were used to enable French aircraft maker Dassault Aviation to pay at least 7.5 million euros in secret commissions to a middleman to help it secure the Rafale deal with India.
Dassault Aviation paid the kickbacks to the intermediary in Mauritius between 2007 and 2012.
“Some papers said the commission went up to 11 million euros. The middleman was Sushen Mohan Gupta. This scam took place between 2007-12. Sushen Gupta is an old player. He was the commission agent in the VVIP chopper scam,” Patra said.
Patra highlighted that the alleged middleman was earlier arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a corruption case and the agencies were looking into the matter.
“It would not be an over-projection that during the UPA tenure, they had a deal within every deal and they could still not strike a deal,” he said.
The BJP national spokesperson said Rahul Gandhi had made the Rafale deal a big election issue during the 2019 Lok Sabha election but it failed to make any impact.
“The Supreme Court and the CAG have already gone into the contents of the Rafale deal signed by the Modi government and found nothing wrong in it,” he said.
HERE IS WHAT CONGRESS SAID
Hitting back at the BJP, the Congress said that the government had launched “Operation cover up” and demanded to know as to why it had not probed the entire episode so far.
Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera asked as to why the Modi government did not agree to a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the Rafale deal. Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi too lashed out at the BJP on Twitter.
The NDA government had inked a fresh deal on September 23, 2016, to procure 36 Rafale jets from Dassault Aviation after a previous deal under the UPA regime did not fructify.