Ghulam Nabi Azad termed the Rafale deal as the country’s “biggest defence scam”. (File)
Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Thursday accused the BJP of not allowing the Rafale “scam” to be discussed in the media and claimed that this kind of “censorship” was never seen before.
There was neither much discussion nor protest on the Rafale deal and the biggest reason for that is the ruling BJP did not allow it to get published in newspapers or aired on TV, Azad said at a press conference.
“During the Congress rule, TV and newspapers were never controlled by the government. But under the NDA government, the BJP is deciding what is to be published in newspapers and what would be shown on TV,” he alleged.
“We are living in a political environment where Emergency has not been declared but its provisions have been illegally implemented in the last four years,” Mr Azad said.
“Why did the Congress have to convene 100 press conferences (all over the country)? It is because nothing is being allowed to get published in the media in Delhi,” he alleged.
The Congress leader added that he does not blame the media, as it is being “strangulated” by the government using probe agencies such as the CBI, Income Tax department and Enforcement Directorate.
Terming the Rafale deal the country’s “biggest defence scam”, Mr Azad accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of avoiding inquiry into the issue.
PM Modi scrapped the contract inked by the UPA government with France for Rafale jets and signed a new deal without discussing it with his cabinet colleagues or officials, the Congress leader claimed.
The price of each plane according to the earlier contract was Rs 526 crore but it increased to Rs 1,670 crore in the new deal, Mr Azad alleged.
The deal was struck without prior clearance from the Cabinet Committee on Security, he alleged.
During the UPA rule, when the BJP levelled allegations of corruption in the 2G spectrum and coal block allocation, the Congress-led government ordered Joint Parliamentary Committee and CBI inquiries, Mr Azad said.
The Congress has been alleging massive irregularities in the Rafale deal and attacking the BJP-led NDA government for procuring just 36 jets when the Air Force required 126 jets.