Why PM, defence minister mum on submarine project issue, asks Congress

New Delhi, Jan 16 (PTI) A day after alleging that the Narendra Modi government was 'favouring' a private entity in the Rs 45,000 crore 75-I Submarine project, the Congress on Thursday questioned the prime minister and defence minister's 'silence' over the matter.

It also said that the prime minister cannot be above accountability.

Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted, 'PM's and RM's silence in the Rs 45,000 crore submarines project is intriguing and raises further suspicion as to - What is BJP government hiding? Why are PM/RM 'mum'? Why did government violate DPP, 2016? Why was 'Empowered Committee' of Navy overruled? Is government batting for Adani Def?' Congress leader Anand Sharma said on Twitter, 'The defence preparedness of India has been diluted and the Make in India made a platform of crony capitalism. Domestic production of defence platforms compromised by PMO's meddling and patronising industrialist friends.' 'The controversy and violation of procedures in Navy's submarine project raises fundamental questions. PM cannot be above accountability,' Sharma also said.

The Congress had on Wednesday alleged that the Modi government was 'favouring' Adani Defence in the submarine project and was promoting its 'crony capitalists'.

Surjewala had questioned the government's intent in favouring the private entity in violation of the defence procurement procedure, 2016, while also over-ruling the recommendations of the 'empowered committee' of the Indian Navy set up for the project.

'Is Modi government favouring Adani Defence JV in the Rs 45,000 crore Submarine project? Is the Modi government promoting financial interests of its crony capitalistic friends by violating the DPP 2016 and eligibility conditions contained therein. Is the Modi government overruling Indian Navy and its 'Empowered Committee' in the matter of ineligibility of Adani Defence JV,' he had asked at a press conference addressed jointly with party spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill.

There was no immediate response available from Adani or the government in this regard.

'Let the Prime Minister and Defence Minister come forward and answer that 'fairness not foul play', 'nationalism, not crony capitalism' will be the yardsticks for the decision on India's prestigious submarine project,' Surjewala had said. PTI SKC SKC NSD NSD