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Congress comes to Barak's rescue

india Updated: Oct 14, 2006 00:05 IST
Saroj Nagi
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The Congress defended the Government decision not to blacklist the Israeli armament company that makes the Barak missile, even though the CBI has filed a case against former defence minister George Fernandes for allegedly receiving money over the deal.

"A sharp distinction has to be made between defence preparedness, the product in question and corruption in the defence deal. The security of the country is paramount. No one is alleging that the product lacks quality. But no matter how meritorious the quality of the product, corruption in a deal cannot be allowed to be condoned," said party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi.

The Congress leader was reacting to questions on how the Congress-led UPA government purchased the Barak missiles despite the charges it leveled against the NDA when the negotiations on the deal were on.

Singhvi said that the purchases must be allowed to continue "in the interest of the nation, in the interest of defence preparedness and in the interest of ongoing supplies."

He said that the CBI had filed the case only a few days ago and the matter has to be pursued in accordance with law. "This issue should not be mixed up with the executive decision making process as far as defence preparedness is concerned," he said.

Referring to the Bharatiya Janata Party's support to Fernandes' bid to get close to the Samajwadi Party, Singhvi saw the trio acting in concert to serve their selfish interests.

"The saffron socialists and the non-socialist saffronists have only displayed their well known political hypocrisy of friendly match-fixing while befooling the public. The only ideology which bind these forces is the ideology of power and self-aggrandisement," he alleged.

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