Continuing his attack on prime minister Narendra Modi on the Rafale deal, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday alleged that Mr Modi personally increased benchmark price of Rafale jets by 3 Billion Euros (₹22,743 crore).
The Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala claimed that the negotiating team had “a serious dispute” on the benchmark price, which was referred to the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
Manohar Parrikar refused to hike prices of Rafale
“Parrikar as also the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by the Defence Minister and the chiefs of the three armed forces also didn’t agree and could not decide on the higher benchmark price of € 8.2 Billion. So DAC referred it to Cabinet Committee on Security (CSS) headed by the Prime Minister. PM Modi as the head of the CCS accepted the higher benchmark price without any negotiations or inquiry and personally hiked the prices. Why did the Prime Minister set a higher benchmark price,” Sujrewala asked.
Sujrewala also claimed that Mr. Parrikar had refused to accept the “letter of comfort” in place of a sovereign/bank guarantee and cited an August 18, 2016 note in which the Air Acquisition wing of the Defence Ministry stated, “Bank Guarantees may be insisted from French side as required under our procedure and Indian side may bear the Bank Guarantee charges”.