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Shocking that PMO was holding "parallel negotiations" on Rafale: A K Antony

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Former A K Antony claimed Friday it was "shocking" that the (PMO) was conducting parallel negotiations on the Rafale deal and alleged it had "special interests to protect".

"This is shocking to me. In the defence negotiations, only the is involved," the senior told reporters outside Parliament.

"Never in the history of of it has happened like that. What is the special interest of the PMO?... Why did the PMO take such a special interest in this case? They have special interests to protect. They want to favour somebody," he alleged.

Antony was reacting to a report published by newspaper on Friday that the raised strong objections to "parallel discussions" conducted by the PMO during the negotiations over the Rs 59,000 crore Rafale deal between and

"Some serious thing is wrong there. Otherwise, the PMO has no role in price negotiations. It is the duty entirely of the and armed forces. Only they do these kind of negotiations," Antony said.

He added that the should immediately accede to the opposition's demand for a (JPC) and the latter should meet and go through all the records. He also claimed that "the PMO has something to hide".

demanded that a JPC be formed to look into the deal.

"Not only should a JPC be formed, but it should submit its report before the general elections, even if it has to sit everyday. The country has suffered a great loss...Not one has come to and this is for the first time in history that the process of defence acquisition has been bypassed and a parallel negotiation has taken place," he alleged.

Sharma claimed that the then was in the know of the deal.

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

First Published: Fri, February 08 2019. 16:05 IST