The government is not implementing the Lokpal Bill only to protect Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who “perhaps” would be the “number one accused” in Rafale fighter jets deal, the Congress said on Monday. During the discussion on Interim Budget 2019-20, Congress leader Veerappa Moily said the government’s defence allocation is only one-fifth of China’s allocation.
“Of this, 20 per cent will go to Rafale and the deal has exposed the chinks in their armour. That is why, I was just thinking as to why this government is not implementing the Lokpal Bill. Now it is crystal clear because if that was to be implemented, perhaps, the present PM would have been the No. 1 accused in that case. That is why, he is afraid. That is why, there is also no JPC,” Moily said.
He said the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) is an investigating agency and that “no other committees, commissions or even Vigilance Commission cannot get into this”. “The Prime Minister can escape today, but not tomorrow,” Moily said. Moily alleged that Modi is trying to slap the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) cases against everyone.
However Moily clarified, “We are not against purchase of Rafale or any other gun but the question is this. “You cannot deprive the public sector like the HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd), which has a 70-year expertise. This government’s own Law Ministry says that there should be a sovereign guarantee.”
Now, Moily said, “we find today that the government of the day waived anti-corruption clauses in the Rafale deal”. “Even the Financial Adviser’s recommendation that there should be an escrow account after PMO forced a waiver of sovereign or bank guarantee was overruled. If anybody has to be held guilty in this Rafale deal, it is PM and PM alone. It is crystal clear,” he added.
The Congress MP said the budget allocation for defence sector is less as compared to last year’s budget. Because of demonetisation, the industrial output and the MSME sector suffered a loss and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rate also declined, Moily said.
He said the unemployment rate is growing under the present government and is a matter of concern. Moily also questioned, on what basis the government is claiming GDP is growing despite the rate of the unemployment rate is high in the country.