Rahul Gandhi attacks PM over Rafale deal, accuses him of robbing Air Force

Rahul Gandhi holding a press conference on media reports about parallel negotiations by PMO on Rafale

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of robbing the Air Force of Rs 30,000 crore and giving it to businessman Anil Ambani, in ‘parallel negotiations’ conducted by the Prime Minister’s Office in the multi-billion dollar Rafale jet deal.

The Congress leader said this while addressing a press conference on the fighter aircraft deal after a report in The Hindu newspaper quoted a Defence Ministry report that expressed strong reservations on the ‘parallel negotiations.’
“PM Modi himself robbed Air Force’s Rs 30,000 crore and gave it to his friend Anil Ambani. We have been raising this since one year. Now a report has come where Defence Ministry officials say that PM was holding parallel negotiations with France government,” Gandhi said.
Defence Minister N Sitharaman replied to the media report in the Lok Sabha saying that “A newspaper published a file noting written by Defence Secretary. If a newspaper publishes a noting then the ethics of journalism will demand that the newspaper publishes the then Defence Minister’s reply as well.”
“Then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar ji replied to that MoD note that remain calm, nothing to worry, everything is going alright. Now, what do you call the NAC led by Sonia Gandhi’s interference in earlier PMO? What was that?”
The then Defence Secretary G Mohan Kumar, told ANI that the MoD dissent note on Rafale negotiations had nothing to do with price. It was about sovereign guarantees and general terms and conditions.

“The Prime Minister should explain to the armed forces, the Air force, why he is interfering with the negotiations?,” Rahul said, alleging Modi was looking rattled.

“It is a corporate warfare and the Prime Minister is representing Anil Ambani. The PM is talking about himself does he have a dual personality chowkidar and the chor,” he said.

He also claimed that the Supreme Court judgement had become questionable.

“You do whatever enquiry and investigation whatever you want… investigate P Chidambaram and (Robert) Vadra, but also investigate Rafale,” the Congress leader said, referring to the questioning of his brother-in-law Vadra by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case.

“The entire Supreme Court judgement on Rafale becomes questionable now… because information was withheld by the government,” the Congress chief alleged.

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