Modi Govt Scheduled to Table CAG Report on Rafale in Parliament on Tuesday
Pointing out the that CAG Rajiv Mehrishi was the Finance Secretary when Rafale deal was being negotiated, the Congress had asked for his recusal.
The government is scheduled to table the CAG report on Rafale jet fighter deal, which has generated a massive political controversy, in Parliament Tuesday, sources said.
The government’s decision to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets from French company Dassault has become a controversial political issue, with the main opposition party Congress levelling allegations of corruption and impropriety, and the ruling dispensation defending the move.
The CAG report will be tabled on Tuesday, a day before the end of the present Lok Sabha session. This is the last session of the 16th Lok Sabha as the general elections are due in April-May.
Former minister and senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Sunday alleged a “conflict of interest” and asked the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Rajiv Mehrishi to recuse himself from auditing the deal as he was the finance secretary when the deal was made between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then-France president Francois Hollande.
Sibal said Mehrishi was the finance secretary from October 24, 2014, to August 30, 2015, and in between Prime Minister Narendra Modi went to Paris on April 10, 2015, and announced the signing of the Rafale deal.
“…Finance Ministry plays an important role in these negotiations… Now it is clear that the Rafale deal happened under Rajiv Mehrishi. Now he is CAG. We met him twice on September 19 and October 4, 2018. We told him about the scam. We told him that the deal should be probed because it is corrupt. But how can he initiate a probe against himself,” Sibal had said.
“CAG is going to completely save the government in its report. The whole deal was materialised in the supervision of Rajiv Mehrishi who was the then finance secretary. When the negotiations started the Ministry of Finance were part of it,” Sibal had added.
The Rafale issue has even been raised before the Supreme Court, which did not find any substance in the allegations. The issue has, however, continued to rock the Parliament with Congress President Rahul Gandhi directly accusing the Prime Minister of benefiting his corporate friend Anil Ambani.
(With PTI inputs)