New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said his defence minister’s speech in the Lok Sabha on Friday demolished a “campaign on calumny” on the NDA’s deal for 36 flyaway Rafale fighter jets.
Not that Rahul Gandhi has been discouraged one bit.
“Nothing is going to save the prime minister from Rafale. Nothing,” the Congress president told reporters today. “The evidence on Rafale is open and shut. It is pretty clear that the prime minister has personally helped Mr Anil Ambani get Rs 30,000 crore.”
“I have a simple question. Please tell the country when Mr Narendra Modi bypassed the old Rafale deal. Did the Air Force…Did the defence ministry raise an objection?”
“I’m expecting a yes-no answer. The defence minister is not able to give one. Neither is the prime minister,” Rahul Gandhi said.
The Congress has alleged that the NDA’s Rafale deal — for 36 planes to be bought off the shelf — is costlier than its own (the UPA’s, now junked) deal for 128 planes (18 off the shelf, rest to be manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited).
A feature of the NDA’s deal is a requirement that the jet-maker, Dassault Aviation, invest in India by tying up with Indian firms. One of the companies Dassault chose was Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence.
The Congress has alleged that it was chosen under pressure from the Modi government.
08/01/19 India Today