AN32 Deal: Rahul Gandhi Asks Modi to Take Action on Corrupt Officials

Congress President Rahul Gandhi. Photo: Congress
Congress President Rahul Gandhi. Photo: Congress

Reports suggests that India purchased spares for military transport aircraft AN-32 in which its Anti-Corruption Bureau suspects the involvement of Indian Defence Ministry officials.

By Rakesh Raman

Congress president Rahul Gandhi urged Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi on Thursday to take action against corrupt officials of the Ministry of Defence in India (MODI) in the AN-32 aircraft deal.

Rahul Gandhi was referring to a revealing report in The Indian Express which claimed that Ukraine is investigating alleged kickbacks to the tune of $2.6 million (Rs 17.55 crore) in the said deal.

The report suggests that India purchased spares for military transport aircraft AN-32 in which its Anti-Corruption Bureau suspects the involvement of Indian Defence Ministry officials.

“Modi ji, as our self-proclaimed chowkidar (security guard), I urge you to take immediate action against your corrupt MODI officials,” Rahul Gandhi asked PM Modi.

However, in a rejoinder issued Thursday, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) dismissed the news story saying that it is misleading.

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“A misleading news item has appeared on 31.05.2018 in The Indian Express alleging kickbacks to Indian government officials through Global Marketing SP Ltd. in the contract for spares for AN-32 aircraft,” the rejoinder stated.

It added that MoD or IAF (Indian Air Force) has neither interacted nor signed any agreement with Global Marketing SP Ltd., nor were any such agreements witnessed.

According to the MoD statement, IAF has also confirmed that Global Marketing SP Ltd. has not participated in any of the meetings held towards finalization of the contract dated 26.11.2014 with STE Ukraine.

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The statement clarifies that the Embassy of Ukraine in India had sent a request to MHA and MEA, Government of India dated 06.03.2018 for legal assistance in investigation of a criminal case filed against officials of Ukraine Government’s State Owned Enterprise (STE). This is as per international treaty between India and Ukraine, the statement added.

This request, according to the government, contains a list of questions to be answered. There are no allegations against any Indian government official while Government of India has only been requested to render legal assistance, the statement said.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society.

Photo courtesy: Congress

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Rakesh Raman