News18 Daybreak | CAG Report on Rafale Deal Expected in Parliament Today and Other Stories You Need to Watch Out For

Feb 12, 2019, 03:12 AM

The much awaited Comptroller and Auditor General’s findings report on the Rafale deal is expected to be tabled in the Lok Sabha on Monday amid allegations of conflict of interest and bias in its preparation.

Officials working with the CAG report have told CNN-News18 that a copy of the report is with the President and three copies are with the finance ministry. The report will be sent to the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha after sanctioning from the President.

 What will it enclose: Details of the Rafale fighter jet deal between India and France will be listed in the report which is said to be two volumes long. According to sources, volume one deals with 10 air acquisitions while volume two deals with the Rafale deal.

The price of the 36 fighter jets, acquired as a part of the deal, has however been redacted on the grounds of the national security and a non-disclosure clause in the agreement, a CAG official said.

Controversies rife: Only two days after a report in The Hindu shed light on the possibility of the Prime Minister’s Office running “parallel negotiations” with France, a second report on Monday claimed that the BJP-led government had waived off critical provisions for anti-corruption penalties.

According to The Hindu report, the government had overruled financial advisers’ recommendations for making payments through an escrow account just days before it signed the inter-governmental agreement with France to acquire 36 Rafale jets

He said, she said: Congress leader P Chidambaram responded to the report in a series of tweets. “The Rafale deal is unravelling faster than the government thought…No sovereign guarantee, no bank guarantee, no escrow account, yet a huge amount was paid as advance,"Chidambaram wrote.

BSP supremo Mayawati also shared her two bits by drawing on the ever-popular “chowkidar-chor” analogy. “Corruption & corrupt defence deal, No problem! Chowkidar is important for the BJP/RSS, not his honesty? (sic),” she tweeted.

BJP spokesperson, G V L Narasimha Rao, however dismissed the two reports as “wild accusations” saying, “it must be stated that there have never been any sovereign guarantees ever from any country in defence purchases in India… Minor deviations of procedure are being portrayed as major lapses in procedure.”

Priyanka Gandhi expected to hold strategy meetings after grand Monday debut

After making her debut in Uttar Pradesh’s political arena as the Congress General secretary with a mega road show, Priyanka Gandhi is now all set to get down to work. The All India Congress Committee’s Gen Sec for UP East is expected to hold several strategy meetings with members of the Congress Committee on the second day of her four-day visit to Lucknow.

The road show on Monday was a spectacle to say the least which saw the Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and UP West in-charge Jyotiraditya Scindia parade through a 25-km stretch from the airport to the party headquarters, atop a bus.

At the end of the four-and-a-half hour long roadshow, Rahul Gandhi addressed enthusiastic party workers at the state Congress office. "Their (Priyanka and Scindia) aim is definitely the Lok Sabha elections, but also to bring a Congress government here (UP)," he said, adding "the Congress began its journey from Uttar Pradesh and it cannot remain weak in the state...Congress has to improve performance in UP in the LS polls and form government in the next assembly elections," he said. Interestingly, the Priyanka Gandhi did not address the crowd during the show or at the Congress office thereafter.

Controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill to be tabled in Rajya Sabha today

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, which seeks to provide citizenship to six minority groups from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, will be presented in Rajya Sabha today amid protests in the northeast against it.

The Bill will be moved by Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

Amid disruptions in the house, the government is expected to make ...