On Wednesday, two former ministers Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha finally hit out in a stinging indictment of the government at the total of Rs. 58,000 crore deal with France for the 36 Rafale fighter jets that was signed in the year 2016. They are calling the whole deal as “a textbook case of criminal misconduct” and have even demanded a forensic audit for the whole deal by the top auditors of the government. They were joined in by Prashant Bhushan who is not only a lawyer but also an Abhiyan leader. The three of them claimed that it is not an ordinary scandal but is something bigger than India have ever seen.
Arun Shourie said, "I can tell you as a person who handled the matter in regard to Bofors... that Bofors was absolutely nothing compared to this," while referring to the Bofors Howitzer gun deal in 1986 that got exploded in the Congress face and even cost Rajiv Gandhi, then Prime Minister a chance to come back to the power in the general election of 1989. Shourie has a long period of journalism experience in hand before he joined BJP and now have led the reports to the Bofors case.
The Rafale deal attack came out when Congress made a statement saying that the government is actually trying to block all the media to report independently any of the scams.
Gandhi scaled up the attack on Nirmala Sitharaman, the Defence Minister accusing her of lying while as per her, she is sworn to secrecy. However, the minister calls it all absolutely wrong.
Prashant Bhushan claimed that the government was hiding all the secrecy clause as "they know as soon as they put the papers on the table, the game will be up".
There was another allegation that comes to the table saying that the crony capitalist arrangements have ensured the Anil Ambani’s Rafale Defence as an offset contract. The manufacturer of the fighter jets, Dassault Aviation would need to manufacture the total of Rs. 30,000 crore aerospace components in India.
For this, Rajesh Dhingra, the Chief Executive Officer came forward and said, “The defence ministry has no role in the selection of Indian partners by foreign vendors. This has been position right from 2005 when offsets were first introduced. In more than 50 offset contracts signed till date, the same process has been followed. Therefore, it is a deliberate attempt to mislead,"