New Delhi: Adding his voice to the chorus against the Rafale deal, senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily trained his guns on the Indian Air Force chief now. Addressing media, Moily said, “In government records, the Defence Ministry and the IAF Chief wanted HAL to be involved. At that time, the IAF Chief visited HAL with Dassault and found it competent and that they had the expertise. I think IAF chief is not fine, he’s lying, he’s suppressing the truth.”
Moily renewed his attack following IAF chief BS Dhanoa’s comments a day ago that where he cautioned against politicisation of defence purchases. “I am not going to comment on the judgment but the Supreme Court has given a very fine judgment. It has also said that this plane is badly needed,” he told reporters in Jodhpur.
Air Chief Marshal’s remarks came on the sidelines of a joint military exercise with Russia days after the Supreme Court dismissed petitions seeking a probe into the Rafale deal. The Congress has been alleging irregularities in the deal for 36 aircraft and claimed that the Narendra Modi government is buying them at a price much higher than the one that was being negotiated by the previous government.
He said while the taxpayer had the right to know where his money was going but the Comptroller and Auditor General of India was there to ensure that it was being spent well.
Moily has, on many occasions, termed the Rafale jet deal the ‘scandal of the century’. He has questioned why the Cabinet Committee on Security did not ratify the deal before it was signed with French company Dassault. “We will undertake a series of agitation programmes across the country to expose the biggest scandal of the century,” he has said.
He alleged that only the Prime Minister and Anil Ambani were privy to deal when it was signed in 2015. Ambani registered a company just 12 days prior to signing of the Rafale deal and had ‘zero experience’ in dealing with defence systems, he alleged.
“It’s an open dacoity of the country’s security that had never taken place before…Don’t know if the then Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar was taken into confidence as the Prime Minister signed the deal on his own. Even the Indian Air Force didn’t know about it,” he had claimed.