SEASAW BATTLE FOR SURVIVAL BY MODI; SHUNTING GAME IS ON || FROM THE RAJPATH || SNE
By SNE Webdesk .
Jan 11, 2019
The Bharatiya Janata Party has been rattled by the Supreme Court’s order reinstating exiled Central Bureau of Investigation chief Alok Verma to reinforce his allegations against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government on the Rafale jet deal.The top court set aside the government’s post-midnight order of 23rd October to divest Mr Verma of his powers and send him and his deputy Rakesh Asthana on compulsory leave and appoint an interim chief.
The leader of opposition Rahul Gandhi said, “The CBI chief was removed at 1 am because he was going to start an inquiry into the Rafale deal.” Rahul Gandhi further added that justice had been done with his reinstatement. “Nothing is going to save the PM from Rafale deal. It is pretty clear that the prime minister has helped Anil Ambani get Rs. 30,000 crores. 100 per cent, without a shadow of a doubt.”
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, reacting to the court’s order, said the government was not biased against anyone and it took the step to protect the CBI’s integrity and credibility. The opposition parties are trying to corner the ruling party in Parliament alleging corruption and kickbacks in the Rafale deal. The Rafale deal has triggered a political controversy in India over the purchase of 36 twin-engine fighter jets from France. The deal is estimated to cost India Rs 58,000 crore, however, the Opposition in India has claimed that the deal has cost India thrice the amount it was supposed to, and that an Indian partner favoured by the government was unfairly chosen as a partner in the deal.
The Congress party alleged that the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence Limited had been unfairly chosen as the Indian partner under the offset clause, claiming that this was done to ‘favour’ Anil Ambani’s company since the private firm has no prior experience in aerospace manufacturing. Congress President Rahul Gandhi demanded that the government put on public record the details of the deal. French President Francois Hollande’s remark that the Indian government suggested Reliance Defence for the Rafale deal and the French government had no say in the matter triggered more controversy.
The BJP government has maintained that the deal made is completely transparent but it was not possible to put on record the details of the deal since this information was termed as classified under the inter-governmental agreement between France and India. According to officials, the agreement has a confidentiality clause in the deal, which was added due to national security concerns, which forbids the buyer and the seller from revealing any details of the pricing of the deal.
The Supreme Court’s directive asking the Centre to submit details of the deal is a significant turn of events as Opposition parties have been targeting the government alleging discrepancies in the deal. The Supreme Court, however, has clarified that details submitted by the government at this stage would be considered “confidential.”
Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who has led the Opposition’s allegations of a lack of transparency in the deal, called for the details of the deal to be made public.