PTI, NEW DELHI: The Rafale deal is a case of "monumental criminal misconduct" by the NDA government and the scam involving it is much bigger than the Bofors scandal, former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie alleged Wednesday, demanding a time-bound probe into the contract by national auditor CAG.
In a tweet, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman rejected the charges as "baseless", asserting that the government had already responded to the allegations on the floor of Parliament. She said a recent attempt in Parliament to malign the government through baseless charges had collapsed.
Sinha and Shourie, addressing a press conference along with lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan, raised a number of questions over the Rs 58,000 crore deal for procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France. Both Shourie and Sinha have served in the previous BJP-led government at the Centre.
The trio, known as strong critics of the NDA government, also accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of single-handedly changing the parameters of the deal and that there was gross violation of mandatory procedures in finalising the contract.
The entire deal was a "textbook case of criminal misconduct, of misuse of public office and of enriching parties at the expense of the national interest and national security", they alleged, adding there was an "effort" by the government to "conceal” facts.