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New Delhi [India], Sept 22: Intensifying its attack on the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government over Rafale fighter jets controversy, Congress party President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday charged Prime Minister Narendra Modi of indulging in corruption.
Quoting the statement made by former French president François Hollande to a French journal, in which he had said that the Indian government had proposed businessman Anil Ambani’s name for the deal, Gandhi said, “I have a statement from France’s ex-president which says “we did not have a say in this matter, it is Indian government that decided to give the contract to Anil Ambani, we did not have a choice.”
The Congress president further said, “For the first time a French ex-president is calling an Indian Prime Minister a thief.”
Continuing his tirade against the Prime Minister, Gandhi said, “It’s the question of Prime Minister’s dignity, it’s the question of future of jawans, army and soldiers, it’s a question of defence. There was a one-on-one meeting between French president and Prime Minister Modi and in the meeting, the French president was told that the contract will go to Anil Ambani. Now, people know that Desh Ka Chowkidar Chor Hai (Country’s watchman is the burglar).”
Gandhi also dragged former defence minister Manohar Parrikar into the issue and claimed, “Ex-defence minister said that he did not know anything about the deal, he was buying fishes from a fish market in Goa when the deal was taking place.”
Launching a blistering attack on Prime Minister Modi, the Congress president said, “France had said in the meeting that price is not a secret and Indian government can tell the price to anybody it wants to and yet the defence minister did not say anything. Anil Ambani created a company 12 days before the deal. They snatched the contract from HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited). Why are these people lying? Who are they protecting? Nirmala Sitharaman, Manohar Parrikar and Arun Jaitley did not sign the contract. Narendra Modi signed it, and they are all lying to protect Prime Minister Modi.”
Gandhi further said, “You (Youth) trusted Narendra Modi and he gave the contract to Anil Ambani. Prime Minister Modi has taken money from your pockets, from the pockets our jawans and their families’ pockets and put it in Ambani’s pocket. People believed Narendra Modi who gave Rs 30,000 crore contract to Anil Ambani who has never flown an aircraft. Modi has broken your trust.”
The former French president, François Hollande in an interview to a media house on Friday, contradicted Indian government’s claim that the agreement between Dassault and Reliance was a commercial pact between two private parties and the government had nothing to do with it.