Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday launched a fresh attack on the Centre’s Narendra Modi government on the Rafale Scam after French website Mediapart.fr revealed a middleman, Sushen Gupta, was paid nearly Rs. 65 crore to secure the defence deal with India.
Gandhi tweeted in Hindi, “Why to worry when the truth is with us at every step? My dear Congress colleagues, keep fighting against the corrupt central government. Don’t stop, don’t get tired, don’t fear.”
The Congress also held a press conference to pose several questions to the Modi government as party spokesperson Pawan Khera asked, “Why did he reduce the number of Rafale aircrafts unilaterally and without consulting the Indian Air Force, from 126 to 36? Why did he deny Transfer of Technology to India and manufacture of Rafale by HAL?”
Khera also asked why Modi had abrogated ‘the Anti-Corruption clauses which are a pre-requisite for any tender according to Defence Procurement Procedure and was part of the tender issued by the UPA.’
“Why did he protect Sushen Gupta by not ordering investigation into his role in the Rafale scam?” Khera asked.
According to Mediapart, both the CBI and Enforcement Directorate had the document related to kickbacks paid to Gupta since October 2018, but both these government agencies did not take any action. A week later, the government had removed the then CBI Director Alok Verma after he expressed his desire to file an FIR into the Rafale Scam. The Modi government had also removed all key CBI officers from Verma’s team.
Khera asked, “He said, “Were the ‘Anti-Corruption clauses’ deleted to escape responsibility from bribery and commission to be paid in the Rafale deal? Why was the deletion of ‘Anti-Corruption clauses’ approved by Prime Minister & Modi Govt in September 2016, despite the Defence Ministry’s insistence upon including it in the Inter-Governmental Agreement in July 2015? Is the reason that CBI-ED refused to probe the corruption in Rafale deal since 11th October 2018 till date?”