SOURCE: ARJUN REDDY/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
National Herald, a Congress mouthpiece in one of its article ‘Rafale: Modi’s Bofors’ compared the Rafale deal to the Bofors scam which by the way Congress has never admitted of any wrongdoing, It also raises a question why Congress till date, which has always denied any wrongdoing in the purchase of 155mm field howitzers in the 1980s, want Rafale deal to be compared to Bofors scandal which caused major political uproar for then Rajiv Gandhi government.
Bofors scandal investigation had revealed a Middle Men (Ottavio Quattrocchi) and the payments details which have been produced in the courts, yet no one went to the jail due to Political interference, but this did lead to the Congress losing power in subsequent elections.
While Rahul Gandhi and Congress Party do come up on daily basics new so-called revelation in the Rafale deal they are yet to provide any substantial evidence or the money trail to prove the allegation against the current government nor has moved to courts. In a Government to Government Military deal angle of corruption is not only difficult but also highly impossible due to several watchdogs which are present in both the countries and have a reputation of working independently without political interference.
While Congress badly wants Rafale deal to be seen as BJP’s Bofors moment, it actually is a repeat of the Kargil coffin scam which broke of just after the Kargil war that took place in 1999. BJP-led Government Of India then was accused of procuring caskets from an American based company called ” Buitron and Baiza” at thirteen times the original amount.
500 caskets which were procured at $2500 per casket which then Congress claimed a major scam in a Defence equipment deal. Journos backed by Congress ecosystem wondered why low-cost wooden boxes for the mortal remains were not preferred and why imported aluminum caskets which are used by US Army for transfer of mortal remains in case of long-distance hauls was brought in the middle of the war and that to it only managed to arrive at the end of the war.
CAG later said in its report that similar casket were available for $172 leading to what was later called as Kargil Coffin Scam. since CAG report gave a price for a rented aluminum casket and all their observation was based on caskets available of wooden or metal construction , while totally failing to understand that what India had ordered was a US Army specification reusable aluminum caskets which US Army in past had brought same ones from the same manufacturer at $2000 per casket several years before the India deal .
Then Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee and Defence Minister George Fernandes became main accused in the fake Kargil Coffin Scam and were called as Kafan Chors by then Congress Party which may or may not have given the Congress party an opportunity to come back to power later in 2004 elections.
Minor details and Clarification made by French Government and Dassault in regards to Rafale deal has been disregarded as lies told to protect the current government by the Congress Party. This very same methodology was also used by the Congress party when US government declared in writing that the caskets in question should cost upward of $2768 apiece, that was also disregarded back then also when allegations and disruptions were common in Parliament and finally case was registered in 2006 when Congress was back in power.
When the matter reached Courts, It took 11 years and Two terms of Congress Government in Center for the CBI in 2013 to tell Supreme court that it has no evidence against then Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee and Defence Minister George Fernandes and both were then given a clean chit in 2015 by Supreme Court.
Fake Rafale Scam is more of a repeat of fake Kargil Coffin Scam which Congress Party back then had played to create a perception of a Scam even though there wasn’t any. No matter who investigates or who says what in the Rafale deal, till the 2019 elections are over, we will continue to hear about it. If BJP manages to hold on to power in 2019 then Fake Rafale Scam to will disappear, If Congress Party does come back to power in 2019, then the Fake Rafale Scam will again have the same fate as fake Kargil Coffin Scam which will drag on in our courts for years or decades before its closed forever.