Rafale deal LIVE updates: Don't need certificate from Nirmala Sitharaman, they are in big trouble, says N Ram

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Rafale deal LIVE updates: Don't need certificate from Nirmala Sitharaman, they are in big trouble, says N Ram
  • 16:47 (IST)

    I don't need certificate from Nirmala Sitharaman: N Ram

  • 16:16 (IST)

    Rahul Gandhi's charges in Rafale deal 'another lie from lie-manufacuring factory': BJP

    BJP described Rahul Gandhi's allegations against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Rafale deal as "yet another lie from his lie-manufacturing factory" and accused the Congress president of working at the behest of foreign forces for the cancellation of the fighter aircraft deal.

    "The lie-manufacturing factory of Rahul Gandhi continues to operate and he has served us yet another lie. We absolutely reject his allegations," Union minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters. — PTI

  • 15:35 (IST)

    Ex-negotiation committee's head slams 'selective outrage', says Russia, US never gave sovereign guarantee

    " I say with great assurance and guarantee that there was no interference from Prime Minister’s office with the Indian negotiating team,"  Air Marshal SBP Sinha, who was the former head of price negotiation committee in the Rafale deal said. 

    On a question related to the issue over sovereign guarantee, Sinha said that in previous government to government defence deals too, no such clause was included. He gave the example of Russia and US, stating that neither countries provided a bank or sovereign guarantee when India procured defence equipment from them. 

  • 15:27 (IST)

    'Rafale negotiation's committee had nothing to do with dissent note'

    Air Marshal SBP Sinha, who was the former head of price negotiation committee in the Rafale deal spoke to Times Now. He said that he was shocked o see that such a move to malign the 'excellent procurement' was made from within the Ministry of Defence. He said, the note was not initiated by the negotiations committee, it was written by SK Sharma. "It has been initiated by SK Sharma, who was not part of Indian negotiation team. On whose behest he initiated this note?"

  • 15:23 (IST)

    France Will Back All Obligations, former French PM told Modi in note to PMO
     

    Former French Prime Minister Manuel Valls had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016, saying that 'their government would fully back the obligations made by their firms in the contract,’ reported ANI

  • 15:04 (IST)

    Arvind Kejriwal demands CBI raid on PMO 

  • 14:59 (IST)

    N Ram rubbishes allegations of 'unethical reportage', says missed Parrikar note, so what? 

    The Hindu's editor and author of the Rafale story, N Ram rubbished the allegations that his story fell short on adhering to ethical journalistic standards. Speaking to Times Now, Ram said that his story does have all the relevant facts on the 'parallel negotiations' by the PMO. He said that nobody can have the last word on the story yet as it was an ongoing investigation. "We carried the story with whatever we had. Nobody can have everything," he said. 

    On missing out Parrikar's note, Ram said that the latter version of the letter only verifies his story as Parrikar indeed referred the defence secretary with his grievances to the PMO, which means he was holding parlays behind the back of the committee. 

  • 14:41 (IST)

    French PM wrote to PM Modi, claimed govt will back Dassault's obligation 

    The then French Prime Minister Manuel Valls had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016 saying that 'their govt would fully back the obligations made by their firms in the contract. 

  • 14:37 (IST)

    Journalist MK Venu says MoD letter proves PMO ran parallel negotiations with French on Rafale 

  • 14:26 (IST)

    The Hindu report says NSA Ajit Doval held negotiations with French, advised Parrikar to do drop demand for sovereign guarantee 

    The Hindu investigation that has kicked up a fresh political storm around Rafale deal said that this is not the only instance of “parallel negotiations” in which the Indian side took contrary positions. The report claimed that it has already been reported elsewhere that the National Security Adviser, Ajit Doval, negotiated with the French side in Paris in January 2016 and The Hindu has access to documentation that confirms this. 

    It said that it was Doval who advised Parrikar on doing away with a sovereign guarantee or bank guarantee for the Rafale deal, and this was also recorded by the then defence minister in a file noting.

  • 14:19 (IST)

    Congress walks out of Lok Sabha 

    The Rafale row has affected the functioning of the Parliament as well. The Congress MPs have walked out of the Lok Sabha shouting slogans against the prime minister. 

  • 14:12 (IST)

    PMO had no role in price negotiations, says then defence secy G Mohan Kumar 

    Defence Secretary at the time G Mohan Kumar told India Today that it was Ministry of Defence alone that negotiated price of the Rafale deal, and not the Prime Minister's Office. He said that his dissenting note was only regarding parallel discussions on sovereign guarantees. 

  • 14:04 (IST)

    If you think MoD dissent note is smoking gun, keep away from papers on 1974 nuke test, says columnist Jaideep A Prabhu

  • 14:02 (IST)

    Parallel Negotiation Claim ‘Overreaction’: Parrikar in Rafale Note

    The then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had replied to the MoD dissent note that the PMO and French President Office were then monitoring the progress of the deal, which he said, was an outcome of the summit meeting. He also termed defence secretary's diisent an 'overreaction'. 

  • 13:55 (IST)

    Omar Abdullah plays on usage of language on Parrikar's note, says wording implies defence minister clueless about negotiations

    National Conference leader Omar Abdullah found fault with the way Parrikar's note, which was left out from The Hindu report, is worded. Becasue Parrikar used the phrase 'it appears' in the quote, Abdullah says that the former was clueless about the progress of negotiations.

    "All he could say was “IT APPEARS that @PMOIndia & French President’s office are monitoring the progress”. He had no direct knowledge of progress & passed the buck back to the PMO... How can he claim that 'para 5 is an over-reaction' when he had no direct knowledge of the status or content of the negotiations? His act of passing the matter for the Def Sec to resolve with PMO clearly shows he had no grounds on which to base his 'over-reaction' assessment," Abdullah tweeted. 

  • 13:44 (IST)

    'Dissent note to PMO over sovereign guarantee, not pricing,' says def secy who authored dissent note

    Former Defence Secretary G Mohan Kumar said that the MoD dissent note at the heart of the controversy had nothing to do with the pricing issue; it concerned sovereign guarantee aspect of the negotiations. 

    "It was about sovereign guarantees and general terms and conditions," Kumar told ANI when asked if he remembered the context of the note.

    "The context is there in the newspaper. Whatever has been brought out (in the newspaper), it has nothing to do with pricing. Negotiations are not just for pricing but other things also. It was about sovereign guarantees and general terms and conditions," he elaborated.

  • 13:34 (IST)

    It was incumbent upon The Hindu to reproduce full letter, says BJP

    The Bharatiya Janata Party tweeted out Nirmala Sitharaman's speech 'debunking' the controversy over Rafale deal, adding that it was incumbent upon The Hindu newspaper to include the full note but they omitted Parrikar's response.  

  • 13:26 (IST)

    Rahul Gandhi intent on jeopardising Rafale deal, says Prakash Javadekar

    Union minister Prakash Javadekar slammed Rahul Gandhi for "jumping on the opportunity" without due diligence in the latest controversy over Rafale deal. He said that Rahul does not believe in Supreme Court and any other institution.  He said that the Congress president is hell bent on jeopardising the Rafale deal which will strengthen the Indian Air Force for personal and political gains. 

  • 13:21 (IST)

    No one interfered with our negotiation, says former head of price negotiation committee 

     Air Marshal SBP Sinha, who was the former head of price negotiation committee in the Rafale deal told CNN-News18: "I can confirm that there was no interference in the price negotiations. The minutes of the meetings are available on record and whatever decisions were taken were arrived at by the negotiation committee collectively." 

  • 13:14 (IST)

    The two versions of the same letter

    The letter (with ANI watermark) reportedly shows the entire letter with Manohar Parrikar's response in the end, meanwhile the letter accessed by The Hindu shows the letter without Parrikar's response. 

    However, Congress is raising a larger point. The fact that a defence secretary has noted PMO's "interference" and Parrikar, too, in his response is not denying the involvement, leaves several questions unanswered. 

  • 13:01 (IST)

    Here's what the Ministry of Defence note said

    The strongly-worded 2015 note prepared by then Defence Secretary, G Mohan Kumar, further states: "In case the PMO is not confident about the outcome of negotiations being carried out by the MoD, a revised modality of negotiations to be led by PMO at appropriate level may be adopted in the case," the note further says. Last year, the government had told the Supreme Court that the PM's Office had no role in the negotiations for Rafale that was carried out by a seven-member team.

  • 12:59 (IST)

    Second version of the letter raises new questions

    The note — dated 24 November, 2015 — brought to the attention of the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar that the PMO's position was "contradictory to the stand taken by MoD and the negotiating team" and it is "desirable that such discussions be avoided by the PMO as it undermines our negotiating position seriously". 

    According to Sitharamn and documents accessed by ANI, Parrikar responded by saying "that the PMO and French president's office were monitoring the issue." ANI released the same letter but along with Parrikar's response at the end of the letter which is missing in The Hindu copy of the same letter.

  • 12:55 (IST)

    PMO and French President's office are monitoring the issue: Parrikar had said

    ANI has accessed the then defence minister Manohar Parrikar’s reply to the Ministry of Defence's dissent note on Rafale negotiations, where Parrikar says that "para 5 appears to be an over reaction." Parrikar, in response to defence ministry's note, said that the PMO and French president's office were monitoring the issue "which was an outcome of the summit meeting".

    The note, however, still could not clarify as to why there were parallel parleys happening on the same issue. 

  • 12:46 (IST)

    Why didn't The Hindu publish defence minister's response, asks Sitharaman

    As The Hindu report on the Rafale deal gave more ammunition to the Opposition against the government in Lok Sabha, Sitharaman accused The Hindu of biased reporting, saying it should have published Parrikar’s response as well. "Such selective noting and building an issue out of this is completely uncalled for," said Sitharaman.  

    Last year, the government had told the Supreme Court that the PM's Office had no role in the negotiations for Rafale that was carried out by a seven-member team.

  • 12:40 (IST)

    Like flogging a dead horse, says Nirmala Sitharaman

    Instead of clarifying current government's stance on the latest allegation, Sitharaman countered it by alleging that Sonia Gandhi pulled a similar stunt with the NAC. "It's like flogging a dead horse," Sitharaman told Lok Sabha. 

  • 12:34 (IST)

    Sitharaman presents weak defence in Parliament

    The report in The Hindu has opened a can of worms for the Centre. Battling allegations of irregularities in Parliament, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the then defence minister "Manohar Parrikar ji replied to that MoD note. He said there was nothing to be worried about, everything is going alright. Now, what do you call the NAC led by Sonia Gandhi's interference in earlier PMO? What was that?"

Rafale deal LATEST updates: "I say with great assurance and guarantee that there was no interference from Prime Minister’s office with the Indian negotiating team," Air Marshal SBP Sinha, who was the former head of price negotiation committee in the Rafale deal said. On a question related to the issue over sovereign guarantee, Sinha said that in previous government to government defence deals too, no such clause was included. He gave the example of Russia and US, stating that neither countries provided a bank or sovereign guarantee when India procured defence equipment from them.

On missing out Parrikar's note, N Ram said that the latter version of the letter only verifies his story as Parrikar indeed referred the defence secretary with his grievances to the PMO, which means he was holding parlays behind the back of the committee.

The Hindu investigation that has kicked up a fresh political storm around Rafale deal said that it was NSA Ajit Doval who advised Parrikar on doing away with a sovereign guarantee or bank guarantee for the Rafale deal, and this was also recorded by the then defence minister in a file noting.

Air Marshal SBP Sinha, who was the former head of price negotiation committee in the Rafale deal told CNN-News18: "I can confirm that there was no interference in the price negotiations. The minutes of every meeting with french delegation are available on record and whatever decisions were taken were arrived at by the negotiation committee collectively."

The Bharatiya Janata Party tweeted out Nirmala Sitharaman's speech 'debunking' the controversy over Rafale deal, adding that it was incumbent upon The Hindu newspaper to include the full note but they omitted Parrikar's response.

The note - dated 24 November, 2015 — brought to the attention of the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar that the PMO's position was "contradictory to the stand taken by MoD and the negotiating team" and it is "desirable that such discussions be avoided by the PMO as it undermines our negotiating position seriously". According to Sitharamn and documents accessed by ANI, Parrikar responded by saying "that the PMO and French president's office were monitoring the issue." ANI released the same letter but along with Parrikar's response at the end of the letter which is missing in The Hindu copy of the same letter.

As The Hindu report on the Rafale deal gave more ammunition to the Opposition against the government in Lok Sabha, Sitharaman accused The Hindu of biased reporting, saying it should have published Parrikar’s response as well. "Such selective noting and building an issue out of this is completely uncalled for," said Sitharaman. Last year, the government had told the Supreme Court that the PM's Office had no role in the negotiations for Rafale that was carried out by a seven-member team.

A news report on a defence ministry note that said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Office conducted "parallel negotiations" with France on the multi-billion dollar Rafale fighter jet deal and the ministry had strong objections to it, triggered a huge political row today. As Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said the report by The Hindu established that the "Chowkidaar is a chor" and his party demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the deal, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the Congress was "flogging a dead horse".

The proceedings of Lok Sabha were on Friday adjourned for nearly 50 minutes after the entire Opposition trooped into the well raising slogans on the Rafale jet deal issue.

As soon as the House took up Question Hour at 11 am, members from Congress, the Left, Trinamool Congress and TDP rushed into the Well holding placards of a newspaper clipping which claimed the Defence Ministry had protested to the PMO the mechanism being adopted for Rafale deal.

As members shouted slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Speaker adjourned the House till noon at around 11.05 am. Earlier Speaker Sumitra Mahajan told members that she would allow them to raise the issue after Question Hour. But the opposition persisted with its protest.

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Updated Date: Feb 08, 2019 16:59:19 IST