Congress has taken Rafale fight to states, says Sunil Jakhar
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Congress has taken Rafale fight to states, says Sunil Jakhar

“They shouted us down in the Lok Sabha. But the PM or defence minister will have to answer whether Anil Ambani, whose company, Reliance Defence Limited, bagged the joint venture, knew about the original contract being cancelled,” Jakhar said.

punjab Updated: Jul 26, 2018 23:16 IST
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Congress,Rafale,Sunil Jakhar
Punjab Congress chief and Gurdaspur MP Sunil Jakhar. (HT File)

After Congress president Rahul Gandhi targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok sabha on the Rafale issue, the party has taken its fight to states.

Punjab Congress chief and Gurdaspur MP Sunil Jakhar addressed a press conference here on Thursday to explain why the party is bringing a privilege motion against the PM and defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman. “They shouted us down in the Lok Sabha. But the PM or defence minister will have to answer whether Anil Ambani, whose company, Reliance Defence Limited, bagged the joint venture, knew about the original contract being cancelled,” Jakhar said.

He said it was not about their political differences with the BJP. “It is about national security of the country. Today is Kargil Vijay Diwas. We all respect former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. But Kargil happened due to total lack of defence preparedness of the then BJP government. Ambani formed this company 12 days before the PM went on a France visit and unilaterally announced to cancel the deal being worked out between makers of Dassault Rafale and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) for many years. Did the PM cancel it to favour his friend Anil Ambani? Yaari koi Modiji toh nibhani sikhe. Kamal kar diti tusi (one should learn how to humour friends from the PM. It is unbelievable),” Jakhar said.

Calling it “breach of secrecy” on national security, he added: “If Ambani knew about the deal falling flat, all our questions are answered. Even defence analysts and experts are questioning the Modi government. Modiji talks of Make in India. Then why a deal negotiated for manufacturing in India by the HAL was cancelled and a new deal negotiated for outright purchase of 36 jets in fly-away condition in the name of emergency and ₹29,000 crore worth orders were gifted to a corporate group through the offset route,” he added.

‘Ranjit panel report to corner Akalis in house’

The Punjab Congress chief said the decision to table the Ranjit Singh panel report on Bargari sacrilege has been taken to corner the Akalis. “They (former CM Parkash Singh Badal and other Akalis) have refused to appear before the commission which wanted to record their statements. When we place it in the House in the next session, SAD president Sukhbir Badal cannot run away to his luxury resort. He will have to take part in the discussion and be answerable for their actions,” Jakhar said.

First Published: Jul 26, 2018 23:15 IST