Political circles foresee a stormy monsoon session following Congress raising the carbine issue, even as it persisted with ‘telecom scam’.
NEW DELHI: The Congress is generating political heat and lining up allegations of ‘scams’ in the run up to the monsoon session of Parliament in which the Modi government’s declared priority is ‘to isolate Congress’ and push the GST bill through.
On Friday Congress firmed up a plank that has traditionally queered the pitch for many past governments – ‘the defence acquisition scam’ – by accusing the Modi government of creating a ‘single vendor system’ in purchase of Army carbines, ‘by overruling the objections’ raised by then minister of state of defence Rao Inderjit Singh and ‘by rejecting’ the offer of Bel to partially manufacture the carbines.
Political circles foresee a stormy monsoon session following Congress raising the carbine issue, even as it persisted with ‘telecom scam’. Congress seems to be readying with the ‘carbine plank’ to return fire after the BJP targeted it over the Agusta-Westland scam in the last session.
In Congress’ allegations of ‘telecom scam,’ based on a CAG report, many see a ‘reply’ to the BJP’s 2G scam attack on the UPA regime, based on another CAG report.
Seizing on the ET report that 10 days before his transfer from the ministry, Rao Inderjit Singh objected to the fact that only the Israeli firm IWI was considered for the supply of carbines and demanded inclusion of Italian firm Beretta too in the list of vendors, Congress deputy leader of the Rajya Sabha, Anand Sharma, demanded answers from the prime minister: Why was a single vendor system created for the supply of the carbines?
Why did the government not accept public sector Bel’s offer for partial manufacturing of carbines? Sharma also sought that the government make public the Singh-Parrikar communications on the carbine issue.
Sharma charged the Modi government with ‘undermining the Cabinet Committee on Security(CCS)” in defence acquisitions, even in allowing FDI.
Why no CAG audit for 2010-16? Following up on Thursday’s allegations, AICC chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala asked why the Modi government ‘has not ordered a CAG auditing for the years 2010-11 to 2016-16 to find out whether telecom companies had underreported income during that period as well’.
“Why is ex-telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad insisting there is no underreporting of income by six telecom companies for 2010-11 to 2015-16? How can the minister be enlightened without even an audit conducted by CAG,” he asked.