Rafale Deal: PM Modi Compromised National Security, Say Bhushan, Sinha and Shourie

Akshay Deshmane
(From left) Prashant Bhushan, Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha at their first press conference on the Rafale deal on 8 August in New Delhi.

NEW DELHI -- Activist-advocate Prashant Bhushan and former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie on Tuesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of compromising national security and flouting rules of procuring defence aircraft due to his controversial decision to buy 36 Rafale aircraft instead of the planned 126 in a "fly-away" condition from France in April 2015.

The trio made these allegations in a written statement issued at a press conference relating to the controversial Rafale deal. The fourteen-page statement, titled Prime Minister Modi's personal culpability in the Rafale scam, says, "National security has been compromised by the Prime Minister and every rule of procurement flouted to unilaterally reduce the number of planes from 126 to 36 and remove Make in India under Transfer of Technology by HAL, despite the fact that IAF, DAC, & MoD had come to a reasoned conclusion that 126 aircrafts were required under Make in India for the long term needs & security of the country."

Bhushan, Sinha and Shourie had held their first press conference on the matter on 8 August. They had alleged then, again in a written statement, that, "Mandatory due process as laid down in the Defence Procurement Procedure was shockingly bypassed in a totally arbitrary and illegal manner. Discounting IAF's opinions and requirements, Mr. Modi kept the IAF, the Defence Ministry, and the External Affairs Ministry in the dark about the new deal until the very last moment. He unilaterally cancelled the well thought out original deal that was the product of thousands of man-hours of Services personnel in accordance with the Defence Procurement Procedure and unilaterally announced a totally new deal for 36 planes that compromises India's national security bypassing all provisions meant to prevent corrupt politicians, businessmen, and babus from disregarding IAF's requirements and specifications."

Responding to the claims, Union minister Arun Jaitley wrote...

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