Today Lok Sabha deliberated once again on Rafale deal in Parliament. In my opinion, the valuable time of Parliament was wasted. No new aspects are brought in, no new revelations are added, no new developments took place in between. There is nothing but repetition of same old allegations without any evidence, that too after Supreme Court dealt with and delivered judgement. Supreme Court dealt with all these aspects. It examined the purchase of 36 air crafts instead of 126, due process , pricing mechanism and selection of off set partner. It is the highest institution of justice. Sometimes, you may not happy with the judgement but there is no alternative. Everyone must respect to the final outcome from Supreme Court unless there is new evidence or revelations. What Parliament discussed today is nothing but repetition of old arguments even after SC judgement. Why the time of Parliament wasted without any new material? Why money of people wasted to satisfy the ego of political class?
Rahul Gandhi initiated the debate. He, being the campaigner all over the country, expected to speak elaborately and eloquently but fumbled and confused. Tried to play a tape against rules which he could not ultimately do. Secondly tried to read its conversation that too could not do it. When Speaker wanted to authenticate it, he failed to do so. Overall his strategy boomerangs. Neither he could not effectively present his case nor his strategy succeeded in refocusing the issue in Parliament. Rahul Gandhi is yet to develop maturity in behavioural pattern and yet to do much needed ground work before speaking in Parliament.
Contrary to it, Arun Jaitley exploited the situation in his favour and exposed Gandhi family with track record of earlier corruption cases. He used this opportunity to explain once again the narration of Rafale deal. Congress strategists, particularly Rahul Gandhi exposed their weak defense before public.
Here are certain aspects which is hotly debated on the captioned subject.
1. Why only 36 air crafts instead of 126?
The squadron strength has already at lowest level and an urgent need to acquire the air craft. Originally when the deal was negotiated, it was felt the need of one squadron i.e. 18 air crafts in fly away condition to be purchased. Now due to urgency, it was increased to 2 squadron, hence 36 air crafts. At the same time, the other air crafts will be acquired after completing the due process.
2. Why there is delay?
Even in fly away condition, the Dussault company has to manufacture. It will not be available ready made, that too with weaponry.
3. Why price escalation?
It was clarified by the Government that base air craft price was 9% lesser than original offered price. The cost escalation is due to advanced weaponry and the same is to be kept secret. The same was examined by Supreme Court and satisfied to their conscious. More than that what the Congress wanted? Is it in the interest of nation to reveal weaponry price?
4. PM announced in advance without completing due process?
PM announced only the purchase of air craft government to government due to the urgency which explained in point number 1. But it took more than a year to complete due process. 74 meetings were held in between. Even this was examined by Supreme Court and satisfied.
5. Anil Ambani firm was favoured over HAL?
May be possible. When the deal was made inter-government, the selection of off set partner was technically the prerogative of Dussault Company. On perception, we can not hold anyone accountable. Concrete evidence is required to establish it. In fact, the track record of HAL is not that great. The entry of Private sector in defense deals is allowed during UPA regime. Though there is smoke in allocation of off set business to Anil Ambani, the charge can not be valid till solid evidence is established in which opposition failed till now.
Simple allegations without prima facie evidence is laughing stock in the eyes of justice system. Let opposition concentrate more on gathering evidence than roof top slogans. Till that time, let all of us abide to the Supreme Court decision.