BJP President Amit Shah on Saturday attacked Rahul Gandhi after a report claimed that a business partner of Congress president in United Kingdom was awarded defence offsets during the UPA regime.
Shah wrote on Twitter, “With Rahul Gandhi’s Midas Touch, no deal is too much! When he has a say, his business partners make hay. Doesn’t matter if India suffers on the way!”
With Rahul Gandhi’s Midas Touch, no deal is too much!
— Chowkidar Amit Shah (@AmitShah) May 4, 2019
Shah also shared the report, published by Business Today website claiming that Ulrik McKnight was awarded offset contracts from French defence supplier Naval Group against Scorpene submarines in 2011. McKnight, according to the report, held 35% stakes in Backops UK, in which Rahul Gandhi owned a majority 65% equity between 2003 and 2009 before the firm was wound up.
Shah wasn’t the only BJP leader targeting Gandhi on this issue. Union Minister Arun Jaitley took a dig at Gandhi by stating that this was a ‘story of a man who aspired to be a defence deal pusher and today aspires to be India’s PM.’ “It’s a serious charge and I think it’s my responsibility to make good discharge,” Jaitley was quoted by news agency ANI.
This is what the Business Today report claimed;
In 2011, as part of its offset obligations, French defence manufacturing company Naval Group (formerly known as DCNS) had signed a contract with Visakhapatnam-based Flash Forge Private Limited for the supply of critical parts for the Scorpene submarines being built at Mumbai’s Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL). The French firm was under contract to work with MDL to build six Scorpene submarines under a contract worth approximately Rs 20,000 crore. In the same financial year, the Indian firm Flash Forge acquired a UK based company named Optical Armour Limited. Next year in November 2012, two of Flash Forge directors were given directorship of Optical Armour Limited. On November 8, 2012, the day these two individuals assumed the directorship of the UK Company Ulrik Mcknight was also given directorship of the company. That’s not all, according to the filings made by Optical Armour in 2014 McKnight was allotted 4.9% shares by the firm.
Reacting to the news, Gandhi told reporters during a press conference on Saturday, “Please undertake any investigation you want, do any inquiry you want. I am ready as I know I have not done anything wrong, but please also investigate Rafale.”
Rahul Gandhi and his party have often attacked Amit Shah on allegations of the latter’s son Jay Shah’s wealth growing disproportionately since the BJP came to power at the Centre in 2014. Gandhi has also been embarrassing the Narendra Modi government for crony capitalism by awarding a defence offset contract to Anil Ambani in the Rafale deal.