Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare had hit out the Narendra Modi government over the alleged scam in the purchase of Rafale fighter jets from France. Speaking to reporters, Hazare said that he had ‘plenty of papers’ on Rafale and he intended to do a press conference on the issue soon.
The veteran anti-corruption crusader, according to PTI, said, “If Lokpal was there, scam like Rafale would not have happened. I have plenty of papers on Rafale and I will hold a separate press conference after studying it for two days. One thing I do not understand how a company formed a month ago before the deal was made partner in it.”
Hazare said that he will start his hunger strike at his village Ralegan Siddhi on 30 January and continue till the government meets his demands.
“In the past the government said in writing that they will implement Lokpal law and provide pensions and 1.5 times of minimum support price to the farmers but did nothing. Now I will not have any more false assurances and continue the hunger strike till there is life in my body,” he was quoted as saying.
Hazare also added that the Rafale deal should be investigated by the Lokpal.
The Centre’s Narendra Modi government has been facing plenty of flak from the Opposition parties for allegedly promoting crony capitalism by helping Anil Ambani become the Indian offset partner of Dassault Aviation despite his company having no previous experience of building fighter jets. Congress President Rahul Gandhi has been accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of corruption in the deal by repeatedly calling him a thief.
The government is facing embarrassment on ignoring the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited to help Ambani’s newly formed company and doing away with the prices,negotiated by the then UPA government under Manmohan Singh. If the Modi government had continued with the negotiations completed by the Manmohan Singh government, India would have paid one third of what this government has agreed to pay to the French company for 36 Rafale jets.
Janta Ka Reporter was the first media outlet to have exposed the alleged wrongdoings in the Rafale Deal in 2017. It was only after our expose that the Congress and other opposition parties had begun to attack the government on the issue.