Former Union ministers Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha, along with Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Rafale deal on Tuesday, with Shourie alleging that there was “direct culpability” of the Prime Minister in “what has transpired”.
The three alleged that Modi had “compromised” India’s national security by reducing the number of aircraft from 126 to 36, without consulting either the Air Force or the Defence Ministry, and had “usurped” the authority of the service headquarters and flouted defence procurement procedure. They called it the “largest defence scam the country has ever seen”.
After the trio’s earlier press conference on August 8, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had stated, “There is not a grain of truth in the wild allegations repeated today, nor anything substantiating in the purported facts and voluminous documents marshalled to corroborate the baseless accusations.”
Jaitley had also stated that the allegations constitute nothing but “reprocessed lies by forces increasingly desperate to prove their relevance”.
The government, they alleged, is “hiding behind” the confidentiality clause “exactly like” it happened in Bofors. They asked that if there was such a clause how did former Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre tell Parliament that the cost of each Rafale aircraft will be Rs 670 crore.