Rahul Gandhi questions PM’s silence even after Hollande comments on Rafale deal

Dassault Rafale B of the French Air Force

Dassault Rafale B of the French Air Force

Gandhi said the prime minister should issue a clarification. He says that in the meeting with the prime minister he was told that this was his only option. "The government is preparing to celebrate surgical strikes (as Surgical Strike Day on September 29)". Modi Ji you dishonoured the blood of our martyred soldiers. Party chief Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter to state that the Rafale deal was doctored "behind closed doors" by PM Modi.

"Cat's out of the Bag!" The Congress has been questioning the price and the choice of the offset partner.

Congress leader P. Chidambaram said, "In the NDA-negotiated Rafale aircraft deal, we have got no aircraft, we have got only lies".

Moreover, despite the intense scrutiny that all major defence deals are not put to, no government wants every single element of it to come into the public domain.

"The RM (Rafale Minister) tasked with defending corruption has been caught lying again. This time by then President of France, Mr Hollande", Chidambaram added. Escalation of a mere 1,100 crore. "I am sure the Euro equivalent would not be a problem to calculate".

The Congress said that after Mr. Raju's revelation the Defence Minister has "no moral authority to continue even for a second and reiterated its demand to investigate the deal by a JPC". Come out and say that this (former) President of France (François Hollande) is not speaking the truth.

Rahul in a presser in New Delhi said that the statements made by Hollande clearly mean that PM is corrupt and accused several Defence Ministers of the ruling party, who are trying to shield PM Modi.

The Congress chief has been repeatedly targeting the government over the fighter aircraft deal, alleging corruption and cronyism.

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He further alleged that details pertaining to the Rafale deal, which he claimed was a scam, was being brushed under the carpet under the guise of national security.

While addressing the press conference here, the Gandhi scion said, "The French government has given a statement which is stating what the procedure is". Hollande was quoted as saying Narendra Modi's government had influenced the choice of a local partner.

"We had no choice".

The Defence Ministry on Saturday said the Indian government had no role in the selection of an Indian private firm as the offset partner of the French firm Dassault Aviation as it was a commercial decision of the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) which was taken as early as 2012 when the UPA was in power.

Hollande was quoted in an article by a French website as claiming that the Indian government had asked the French government to nominate Reliance Defence as its India partner in the deal.

Officials in India and France insist Dassault had freely chosen to partner with Reliance for the fighter jet order, despite Ambani having no previous experience in the field of aeronautics.

Ten days after India sealed the government-to-government agreement on the Rafale deal, Reliance Defence and Dassault had announced a joint venture (JV) in the aerospace sector and a year later, the foundation stone of a manufacturing facility was laid in Mihan, Nagpur.

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