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Sunday, Sep 22, 2019

Rahul Gandhi fires fresh salvo, questions PM Narendra Modi’s silence on Rafale deal

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday again targeted Narendra Modi over the Rafale deal and accused the Prime Minister of snatching away money from the poor and handing it over to industrialist Anil Ambani.

india Updated: Sep 25, 2018 00:06 IST
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Hindustan Times, Amethi
Rahul Gandhi said PM Narendra Modi must answer why Rafale price was not disclosed and how Anil Ambani got the contract for it.
Rahul Gandhi said PM Narendra Modi must answer why Rafale price was not disclosed and how Anil Ambani got the contract for it.(PTI)
         

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday again targeted Narendra Modi over the Rafale deal and accused the Prime Minister of snatching away money from the people and handing it over to industrialist Anil Ambani.

He asked Modi why Rafale price was not disclosed and how Ambani got the contract for it. “The chowkidar of the country has taken out Rs 30,000 crore from the pockets of the poor, martyrs and the jawans and put it in the pocket of Ambani,” Gandhi said in his Lok Sabha constituency of Amethi, where he was greeted as a ‘Shiv Bhakt’ (a devotee of Lord Shiva) following his Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage.

Rahul said the people want to know the amount involved in the Rafale deal. “Why the price was not disclosed...how was the contract given to Ambani...”

He recalled the debate in Parliament on the deal and said Modi could not look him in the eye. “Modi gives speeches but no answers... he does not have the courage to reply,” he said. He said the farmers and the poor were crying. “The government is providing all benefits to a selected five to 10 people,” he said.

The Reliance Group, in a statement quoting Ambani’s letter to Congress president Rahul Gandhi last month, had said, “Allegations of Reliance benefitting by thousands of crores is a figment of imagination, promoted by vested interests. Simply put, no contract exists with the Government of India.”

French company Dassault, which is supplying the fighter jets, has entered into a joint venture with the Reliance Group to meet its offset obligations to create business for Indian firms following the Rafale deal.

The BJP has repeatedly rubbished Gandhi’s allegations of corruption in the deal.

Earlier, as Gandhi’s cavalcade reached his Lok Sabha constituency, supporters started shouting ‘Bam Bam Bhole’ amid the chants of ‘mantras’ and blowing of conch shells. Gandhi, who had gone on a pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar earlier this month, performed a ‘puja’ and met ‘kanwariyas’ who had assembled there. The Congress party also tweeted a short video of the welcome and prayers.

About a hundred saffron-clad ‘kanwariyas’ had assembled for the event.

First Published: Sep 24, 2018 23:37 IST