Rafale scam: “PM has betrayed India. He has dishonoured the blood of our soldiers”

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In a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday accused the former of betraying India and dishonouring ‘the blood of our soldiers.’ Reacting to the explosive revelation made by Former French President François Hollande, Rahul said that this conclusively proved that Modi had personally ‘negotiated & changed’ the Rafale deal.

राहुल गांधी
file Photo: The Indian Express

“The PM personally negotiated & changed the #Rafale deal behind closed doors. Thanks to François Hollande, we now know he personally delivered a deal worth billions of dollars to a bankrupt Anil Ambani.

“The PM has betrayed India. He has dishonoured the blood of our soldiers,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

This was after Hollande told a French journal that the decision to choose Anil Ambani’s Reliance as the Indian offset partner in the Rafale jets deal was taken by the Indian government. Modi had signed the deal with Hollande during his term as the French President.

“We didn’t have a choice. We took the partner that was given to us,” French newspaper Le Monde’s south Asia reporter, Julien Bouissou, quoted Hollande as saying.

The report published by a French news website mediapart.fr quoted Hollande as saying, “The Indian government proposed this service group and Dassault negotiated this with Ambani.” The paper added the statements by Hollande sharply contradicted the version being put forward by the Modi government, which has maintained that Dassault alone had chosen Anil Ambani’s Reliance as the Indian partner.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had recently said that another reason why the deal between Dassault and the government-owned HAL could not come to fruition was because the two could not agree on the production details.

Sitharaman’s comments met with a rebuttal from the recently retired HAL chief, T Suvarna Raju, who told a leading daily, “When HAL can build a 25 tonne Sukhoi 30 from raw material stage, then what are we talking about? We could have definitely done Rafale.”

Janta Ka Reporter in its three part series last had first exposed the scam in the purchase of Rafale jets from the French company Dassault aviation.  (You can read them here Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3).

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