French report claims payment of 1.1 mn euros in Rafale deal: Cong seeks probe

French report claims payment of 1.1 mn euros in Rafale deal: Cong seeks probe

New Delhi: The Congress Monday sought a thorough probe in the Rafale defence deal and demanded answers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after a French media report claimed that 1.1 million was paid to a "middleman" by the aircraft manufacturer.

Addressing a press conference, chief Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that the French news portal's report has proved that Rahul Gandhi's oft-repeated allegations of corruption in the deal were correct.

However, the BJP on Monday dismissed the allegations of corruption in the Rafale deal as "completely baseless" and stressed that the Supreme Court had rejected a demand for a probe in the purchase of the fighter aircraft and the CAG also found nothing wrong.

Responding to a question about the Congress' attack on the Modi government over the bribe allegations, senior BJP leader and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the opposition party made it a big issue in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls but lost badly.

Surjewala further said that as per the French portal's report, an investigation conducted by the French Anti-Corruption Agency (AFA) has revealed that after signing of the deal in 2016, Rafale's manufacturer Dassault allegedly paid 1.1 million to a middleman -- Defsys Solutions -- which is an Indian company.

"Does it now not require a full and independent investigation into India's biggest defence deal to find out as to how much bribery and commission in reality, if any, was paid and to whom in the Indian government," he said, adding that will Prime Minister Narendra Modi answer to the nation now?

The Congress leader further said that the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) as also the stated Indian government policy envisage there will be an Integrity Clause in every defence purchase contract which clearly states that there can be no middleman or payment of commission or bribe.

Surjewala said that as per the DPP, any evidence of middleman or commission or bribery has serious penal consequences including the banning of the supplier, cancellation of contract, registration of an FIR and imposition of heavy financial penalties on the


In response to Congress allegations, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the allegations of corruption were "completely baseless" and suggested that a report in the French media about the alleged financial irregularity in the deal may be due to "corporate rivalry" in that country.

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