Intro: Congress Party with an inglorious history of scandals and scams sees the ghost of corruption lurking between every line of the agreement done by the present Modi-led NDA Government at the Centre
- Dr CV Ananda Bose
Rafale, the combat aircraft, is sought to be converted into a rescue vessel by a sinking Congress in distress. Bereft of fuel to propel itself to the fast-approaching Parliamentary elections, the prince of the lost empire is manufacturing propulsion fuel in the scandal factories which the Congress has set up as their contribution to the ‘Make in India’ movement. Is it the end game of a fading party to ensure its survival by creating a scam to expose Narendra Modi Government and get them exposed in the process? Hasten slowly dear Congress! Why fast forward the d-day of your sinking outfit?
What does the Congress want the nation to believe? It was demonstrated in the last General elections and subsequent state elections that the nation does not believe them. If you do not believe, we will make you believe, seems to be the quixotic stance of the make-believe party. When the rumour mills of the frustrated Congress was in a wild chase for adding grist to its mill, they have hit upon a straw which wafts in the air.
Inglorious History of Scams
The Rafale deal for them is something which is better than nothing. Four years have passed since the rout of Congress party at the hustings. These four years saw the non-corrupt and incorruptible face of the Modi Government which offers a classic case of ‘those who came to scoff remained to pray’. Not a single allegation against any minister.
No kickoff, no hush money, no underhand dealings. The world knew who is the professed Mr Clean and who is the real Mr Clean of Indian politics. A party which has fallen from scandal to scam right from its first government in the country perfected the art of governmental and political corruption without parallel in any democratic society.
What does the Congress want the nation to believe? It was demonstrated in the last General elections and subsequent state elections that the nation does not believe them.
Shanmugam Chetty, the first Finance Minister of the Nehru Government, had to quit under a cloud. Then came the Mundhra scandal exposed by Rahul’s granddad Feroze Gandhi and, in spite of the shameless support given by the Congress party, their Finance Minister TT Krishnamachari lost his job under pressure. Congress fattened corrupt Chief Ministers, Prathap Singh Kairon of Punjab and Bakshi Gulam Mohammed of Jammu and Kashmir. LN Mishra ushered in the suitcase regime in the Delhi Secretariat. Then came the Bofors, 2G, Colgate and now the son-in-law scandal, the Vadra land deal of Haryana. The buzzword in the corridors of the Central Secretariat in those days was that the Congress has AIDS – acquired income deposited somewhere. The strategists of Congress know it is better to set a thief to catch a thief. If there is no thief around, create one. The masters of make-believe in the Congress headquarters decided to set a fictitious Rafale against the fickle minded Robert. Who doesn’t know that the Rafale smoke screen is created to camouflage the Robert Vadra land deal?
The son tries to rise on someone else’s shoulders, the son-in-law sinks in someone else’s land. How long will the Robert vs Rafale game go on? The nation is waiting to say sooner than later, that the Rafale scandal has gone with the wind or vanished into thin air. Shakespeare has said that the poet’s mission is to give ‘airy nothing a local habitation and a name.’ Those within the Congress party who shake their spears against Narendra Modi are also giving airy nothings; yes air airy nothings, a local habitation and a name. How long will the mudslinging last? Perhaps, till the next elections. Sorry Congress, learn from your experience. People have shown you the way out. Your scandal power is of no avail.
Fact(s) and the Congress Fiction
The Rafale discussion started in 2007 under the UPA Government. The Congress grouse is that the multirole fighter jet, considered to be one among the best combat aircraft in the world, worth Rupees 520 crore per plane is being purchased for Rs 1600 crore. India and France signed an agreement for 7.87 billion Euros (approx Rs 59000 crore) on September 23 2016, for 36 jets which would be delivered to India in 3 years, starting from September 2019. Congress sees the ghost of corruption lurking between every line of the agreement. The defending army of NDA stalwarts asserts that what Congress says is neither fact nor fiction, it is fictitious. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is on record that ‘the fully weaponised Rafale air craft’s 2016 price is 20 per cent lower than the 2007 offer. It is what the 2015 statement of the PM and the French President refers to as ‘on terms better than the 2007 offers’.
Going a step ahead, Law Minister Ravi Sankar Prasad asserts “UPA invited quotes for 126 aircraft in 2007. The price quoted for each was 79.3 million euros which also had inbuilt escalation formula. When the bid was opened in 2011, the proposed cost in the bid document was 100.85 million euros per aircraft. However, this could not be finalised. After NDA came to power, under the inter-government agreement in 2016, the cost per aircraft finalised was 91.75 million euros”.