The Congress on Wednesday accused the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government of "favouring" the Adani group in the ₹45,000 crore 75-I Submarine project, alleging that it was promoting its "crony capitalists".
The principal Opposition party alleged that the government was promoting 'crony capitalists' by violating laid down rules and regulations.
Addressing a press conference, Congress communication chief Randeep Surjewala and party spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill charged the government of violating the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) of 2016 as well as over-ruling the recommendations of the 'Empowered Committee' of the Indian Navy that had been set up for the project.
"Is the Modi government favouring Adani Defence JV in the ₹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 the Indian Navy and its 'Empowered Committee' in the matter of ineligibility of Adani Defence JV?"asked Mr Surjewala.
So far, neither the government nor the Adani group has reacted to the Congress allegations that were made at a special press conference.
The Congress claimed that two key parameters set by the DPP were that the shortlisted company to manufacture the six submarines in the deal should be of Credit 'A' rating and the Ministry of Defence should approve the 'Special Purpose Vehicle' (SPV) set up for the project before applying for "request for expression of interest".
The Empowered Committee of the Navy, claimed the Congress, shortlisted the public sector unit, Mazagon Docks Shipbuilders Limited, and Larsen and Toubro from the private sector.
But the Congress alleged that the government is all set to violate the Committee's recommendations by allowing the private entity which neither has any experience in submarine manufacturing nor the required credit rating.
"Is zero experience criteria replacing the long technical criteria in the Defence Procurement?"asked Mr Shergill.
Mr. Surjewala said the Congress has raised the red flag in national interest.
"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,"Mr. Surjewala added.