Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday launched a blistering attack against Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing him of protecting those responsible for alleged corruption in the Rafale deal with France.
Speaking outside the parliament, Gandhi took a dig at the length of the prime minister’s speech inside the parliament while questioning his silence on what he said was Rafale scam.
He told reporters, “We’ve raised this on many occasions. Some irregularities have taken place in the Rafale deal. He (Modi) spoke for one hours (in the parliament) today, but he did not speak about the Rafale deal at all. He delivered a political speech, a campaign speech, but on the issues faced by the nation including the topic of unemployment, he did not talk. Prime Minister is talking about honey bees and bamboos. Has there been corruption in the Rafale deal or not? Did you change the contract in Paris or not? Did you ask the Cabinet Committee on Security? Yes or Not? And what price did you agree for each Rafale jet?”
The Congress president also slammed Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for refusing to share the details on the prices agreed with France for the 36 Rafale jets. While replying to Congress MP Rajeev Gowda’s question, Sitharaman had sensationally refused to share the pricing of Rafale jets saying that this could not be shared since both India and France were signatories to a pact that stopped India from disclosing details on the jets.
Gandhi said, “This is for the time that the defence minister is saying that she will not tell the nation. This is the biggest deal ever. This deal is about jets that will form the backbone of the Indian Air Force. But the defence minister is saying ‘I can’t tell you price (agreed with France.)’ Prime Minister has spoken for an hour. This is about the martyrs of Air Force. But he did not utter a single word. We are only asking questions, you must answer that. Our questions are very simple.”
“Just answer if you changed the contract? Did you agree for more or less money (than what was agreed during the UPA regime)? And did you take the necessary permission? But we are not getting the answers. The country must understand this. The prime minister had spoken about fighting corruption. And there has been corruption in the Rafale deal and the prime minister is protecting those who’ve been responsible for corruption,” he added.
Rafale expose was first broken by Janta Ka Reporter in its two-part series that highlighted the blatant instances of crony capitalism by the Narendra Modi government. Our expose ((Read part 1 and two of that expose here) had established how the government had agreed to pay nearly three times the prices agreed by the UPA government to France in order to help a billionaire friend of the prime minister.
In another report by Janta Ka Reporter on Tuesday, it was highlighted how Sitharaman may have misled the parliament by citing an imaginary security deal that never existed.