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Modi govt promoting crony capitalism, ignoring national interests: Congress

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Raising the heat on the over the jet deal, the today accused it of promoting crony and its own "self interests" and ignoring national interests.

asked why and his government is not answering why Rs 41,205 crore more out of the public money was paid for the fighters and accused the of violating the 'defence procurement procedure'.

The opposition party alleged that was chosen as the local partner for offset contracts worth crores, as per the 2016 annual report of and a press statement of

and Aerospace, in a statement, said that it or any other has not received any contract from the till date, relating to the 36

"This is absolutely unfounded and incorrect," the company said.

It also claimed that there is no violation of any rule or preferential treatment to Dassault Reliance Aviation Ltd (DRAL), the joint venture company formed to fulfil the offset contracts in the Rafale deal.

The leader, however, accused the of making the announcement of "off-the-shelf" purchase of 36 fighter jets in at a much higher rate than that negotiated by the

"Rafale is a scam and the government is in scam. Indians feel deprived while the BJP ensured that crony thrived. Instead of protecting India's interest we have the protecting its self-interests," Chaturvedi said in a statement.

"The prime minister announced off-the-shelf purchase of 36 Rafale in on April 10, 2015 for euro 7.5 billion (Rs. 1670.70 crore per which is Rs. 60,145 crore for 36 aircraft," Chaturvedi said.

signed an inter-governmental agreement with in 2015 for 36 Rafale fighter jets in 'fly-away' condition.

The of the ruling BJP, Amit Shah, on Friday rejected allegations of corruption in the Rafale deal, saying credence should be given to Nirmala Sitharaman's statement instead of others.

Shah said Sitharaman has said the base price of Rafale fighters negotiated by the government is less than what was finalised by the previous UPA dispensation.

But the Congress said when the international bid opened on December 12, 2012 for Rafale jets, the price negotiated by the was Rs. 526.10 crore per aircraft for 126 aircraft. As per the UPA deal, the price of 36 aircraft would have been Rs. 18,940 crore.

Chaturvedi demanded an explanation on why an extra amount of Rs. 41,205 crore of the public money is being paid for the jets.

She asked why the were averse to placing the details of the commercial purchase price before Parliament.

The government has said that a secrecy clause in the 2008 pact between and prohibits it from disclosing the pricing details in the purchase of the Rafale fighter jets.

Experts describe the Rafale as a twin-engine "air-dominance" aircraft. In French, "Rafale" means a gust of wind.

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

First Published: Sun, August 12 2018. 19:50 IST