Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday made a huge claim by saying that Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told him that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had not consulted him while changing the Rafale deal. Gandhi on Tuesday had met the ailing Goa Chief Minister, who held the country’s defence portfolio when Modi had singed the controversial Rafale deal with France.
Gandhi told an audience, “Main kal Parrikar ji se mila tha. Parrikar ji ne swayam kaha tha ki deal badalte seamay PM ne Hindustan ke Defence Minister se nahi poocha tha. (I had met Parrikar ji. He himself told me that the PM did not consult him while changing the (Rafale) deal.”
On Tuesday, Gandhi had made similar claims while speaking in Kerala. He was quoted by news agency PTI, “Friends, the ex-defence minister Mr Parrikar clearly stated that he had nothing to do with the new deal that was orchestrated by Mr Narendra Modi to benefit Anil Ambani.”
Modi is accused of dumping the old deal being negotiated by the then Congress-led UPA to sign a new deal with France to benefit his businessman friend Anil Ambani. Under the old deal, India had agreed to buy 126 Rafale jets with 18 in flyway condition while remaining being built by the government-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. French aviation company Dassault had also agreed to transfer the technology to India.
But, under the deal struck by Modi, the Indian partner changed from the HAL to Anil Ambani’s newly registered company, which had no prior experience of building aircrafts. The number of aircrafts too were reduced from 126 to just 36.
Under the new deal, France will also not transfer the technology and, most importantly, the cost of each aircraft has increased by more than 300 percent.
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).