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Congress leaders meet CAG on Rafale deal, demand probe into 'irregularities'


IANS
New Delhi
Escalating its attack on the Rafale deal, a high-level Congress delegation on Wednesday met Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) Rajiv Mehrishi with its demand for a probe into the Narendra Modi government's deal with France to purchase 36 fighter jets.
The part has been saying that the deal has caused"loss"to the exchequer and"endangered"national security. The party later claimed that the CAG told the delegation that the auditor was examining the entire issue and would soon submit a report to Parliament. The delegation that included party leaders -- Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Ahmed Patel and Randeep Singh Surjewala -- also submitted a memorandum to the CAG giving the history of the proposal to buy Rafale fighter jets, the process for which began in 2007.
The memorandum said that"unilateral"purchase of 36 Rafale jets from Dassault Aviation has caused"loss to public exchequer, endangered national security, bypassed Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) to benefit crony friends, and violated the mandatory provisions of Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP)".
The memorandum to the CAG marks escalation by the Congress of its fight against the Modi government over the Rafale issue, on which the party has held press conferences in different parts of the country. Former Defence Minister A.K. Antony had on Tuesday accused Prime Minister Modi led-NDA government of compromising national security by reducing the number of fighter planes to be procured from 126 as negotiated by the UPA government to 36.

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