Pawar clarified that he wasn’t supporting the PM in the matter.
Mumbai: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar has said that while there is no proof of corruption in the Rafale deal in hand, there should be an inquiry by a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to let the world know how the deal was carried out. He slammed the Prime Minister Nare-ndra Modi-led government for ousting Hindu-stan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) from the deal.
Terming the Rafale issue as “suspicious”, Mr Pawar said that the government needed to come clear with it.
The NCP leader was addressing party workers in Beed, Marathwada, when he tried to clear the air around the controversy that erupted when he remarked that people did not doubt Mr Modi’s intentions in the Rafale deal. The remarks led to buzz that he was supporting Mr Modi which could prove a setback for the proposed grand alliance of Opposition parties. Mr Pawar clarified that he wasn’t supporting the PM in the matter.
“I said that I don’t have proof of corruption in the deal in my hand. But the price of the Rafale is higher than earlier and the government will have to explain that to the people. There should be a JPC to probe the deal,” he said.
The government must explain to the JPC why and how the deal was carried out, he said.
“We are not asking for technical details. I remember that in the time of Bofors, the same BJP leaders used to demand technical details of cannon. Now they are hiding even the commercial details. The government has to tell people the prices and the reason for the hike,” said Mr Pawar.
About HAL he said, “HAL is an experienced company. In the earlier deal, HAL was asked to clear the technical snags. But in the new deal, there is no HAL. So, for every technical issue, the plane will have to be taken to France. This will cost more and help France. This needs to be probed and the reason for the changes need to be mentioned before the JPC.”