New Delhi: The controversial €7.87 billion Rafale Deal, comes up with yet another shocking revelation. From the report of the daily newspaper The Hindu citing an official document, it is been found that, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Office conducted a “parallel negotiations” with France on the multi-billion dollar Rafale fighter jet deal and the defence ministry had expressed strong reservations to it.
The official document available to The Hindu clears that the Defence ministry, protested the position taken by the PMO and stated that, “we may advise PMO that any Officers who are not part of Indian Negotiating Team may refrain from having parallel parlays [parleys] with the officers of French Government. In case the PMO is not confident about the outcome of negotiations being carried out by the MoD, a revised modality of negotiations to be led by PMO at appropriate level may be adopted in the case.”
The note – dated November 24, 2015 -brought to the attention of the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar that the PMO’s position was “contradictory to the stand taken by MoD and the negotiating team” and it is “desirable that such discussions be avoided by the PMO as it undermines our negotiating position seriously”.
‘Contempt of Court’
Last year when the government had submitted all it’s report to the Supreme Court, they mentioned that the negotiation over the Rafale Deal was conducted by a seven members team headed by the Deputy Chief of Air Staff. There they did not mention the role of PMO in negotiations.
“This is very serious that the government kept all this from the Supreme Court. It can be treated as contempt of court. They were not told that PMO was holding parallel negotiations,” N Ram, the editor of The Hindu, who wrote the investigative report said.
In a press conference, Congress president Rahul Gandhi citing the report of The Hindu said that, it is clear that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is directly involved in the defence deal.
“PM Modi himself robbed Air Force’s Rs 30,000 crore and gave it to Anil Ambani, we have been raising this issue for over a year. Now a report has come where Defence Ministry officials say that PM was holding parallel negotiations with France Govt,” the Congress president said during a press conference.