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Cong alleges govt 'manipulated' Rafale deal process

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The on Wednesday accused the of "manipulating" the process of fighter jet agreement by "punishing" bureaucrats who raised objections to the deal and rewarding "obliging officials".

The opposition party also reiterated its demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe.

S Jaipal Reddy said defence deals of this magnitude are first examined by departments, approved by the and then sealed.

He alleged that in 2016, the then was overruled by the acquisition for the go ahead to the deal, after a new was brought in the post, in place of person who had the reputation of being unbending.

"To manage this process, bureaucrats were bulldozed, bullied, punished, promoted, the whole process of ratification was fabricated, stage-managed, and manipulated. Such a thing has not happened in the history of independent India," Reddy alleged, claiming that "obliging officers" were "rewarded" later.

The opposition led by the has been accusing the government of benefiting Anil Ambani's Ltd. from the deal. The government and have dismissed all the allegations as false.

The controversy took a new turn last month after Francois Hollande, who was French when the Rs 58,000-crore deal was announced, was quoted as saying by French publication Mediapart that was given "no choice" on selection of the Indian for Dassault, the manufacturer of Rafale jets.

The proposed the name of Reliance as offset for the French aerospace giant, he said. However, the government maintained its stand that it had no role in choosing the Indian offset for

Modi had announced the procurement of 36 Rafale fighters after holding talks with Hollande on April 10, 2015, in

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, October 10 2018. 16:55 IST