Government ignored defence procurement procedure in Rafale deal, says Congress

Stepping up attack on the government over the Rafale fighter jet issue, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram today accused the Centre of ignoring the defence procurement procedure and “bypassing” several committees to secure the deal.

He also called for a detailed inquiry into the contract.

Chidambaram demanded that there should be a public debate on how the prices negotiated for each aircraft by the Congress-led UPA government “have gone up by three times” in the deal negotiated by the BJP-led NDA dispensation.

“We think the matter is serious enough that there should be a public debate and a detailed inquiry into it. That is why the Congress president (Rahul Gandhi) has raised it,” he said.

The former finance minister alleged that the Cabinet Committee on Security was not taken into confidence by the government before signing the deal.

“There are several questions, which need to be answered. There is a defence procurement procedure that was completely bypassed. There was a Contract Negotiation Committee that never met for this deal. There is a Price Negotiation Committee which was never called to meet.