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PMO did not hold parallel parleys: Official who led the Rafale negotiation

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Amid a fresh controversy over the Rafale deal, SBP (retd), who was leading the Indian negotiating team for the fighter jet purchase, Friday rejected the charge that the (PMO) had held parallel negotiations.

Former G also said it was "absolutely wrong" to say that the PMO was conducting a parallel negotiation, as alleged in a media report to which the and other opposition leaders have latched on to attack the over the Rafale deal.

"There was no parallel negotiation and every word in the Intergovernmental Agreement is jointly decided by the Indian and the French negotiating teams without participation of any other agency," said.

was one of the top officials leading the Indian negotiating team.

The controversy erupted after newspaper reported that the had raised strong objections to "parallel discussions" conducted by the PMO during negotiations for the Rs 59,000-crore fighter jet deal between and The report, citing internal file notes, was used by and several other opposition leaders to raise questions on the role of

Kumar, who was the when the deal was signed, said the matter refers to sovereign guarantee and not the price.

There were several unsettled issues that were being sorted out and sovereign guarantee was one of it, he said.

"All the price negotiations were conducted by the committee," Kumar asserted.

Referring to the note, Sinha said the who initiated it was not a part of the negotiating team and he had no "locus standi" to do so.

Sinha added that he had seen the note for the first time in the media.

"None of us were aware of the note and neither was it discussed with the Indian negotiating team," Sinha said.

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

First Published: Fri, February 08 2019. 19:35 IST