Rahul Gandhi challenges PM Modi for open debate on Rafale deal

Last Modified Monday, 13 August 2018 (15:48 IST)
Bidar, Karnataka: AICC president on Monday threw a challenge at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for an open debate on the and wondered why he was ‘running away’ from spelling the truth behind the deal with France which he claimed to be the biggest corruption scam meant to help his friend Anil Ambani.
Speaking at ‘Janadhwani Yatra’ to launch the Congress campaign for the next Lok Sabha elections from Karnataka, he asked Mr Modi, “Why do you run away from me. You are a partner in crime of this biggest corrupt deal to help Anil Ambani. Give a reply to the people at least. Tell the truth behind the aircraft deal.”
He said he was prepared for sharing the platform with Mr Modi to discuss about the deal which he claimed denied jobs a number of youths in Karnataka.
Mr Gandhi said the BJP Government at the Centre had not clarified on the points he had raised during the Parliament on the Rafale deal.
“I had told the whole nation that Mr Modi had committed corruption in Rafale deal by denying state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited the authorisation to produce the aircraft after getting transfer of technology. This was done to help the rich friends and the beneficiary here is Anil Ambani,” he charged.
The Congress leader alleged that under the old pact signed by UPA government, the aircraft was to be bought at Rs 526 crore each but under the new pact, Mr Modi had scaled it up to Rs 1600 crore per aircraft and that too allowed Mr Ambani’s company to be part of the deal without any experience.
“This company came to existence only 10 days before the new pact was signed. It has not produced a single aircraft. Is this not a scam? Is this not an act that led to deny HAL to get new technology and deny Indian youth the jobs they deserved,” he asked.
He alleged that the prime minister and defence minister had lied to the country that the details of Rafale pact could not be disclosed as it was a defence deal. However, the French President himself had clarified to him that there was nothing secret about his deal and if the government wants all details can be given.
“Does this not amount to betraying the people of the nation by the prime minister to help his rich friend,” he asked.
Continuing his tirade against Mr Modi, Mr Gandhi said the prime minister had no heart to help the farmers of but went on ‘telling lies’ over hiking the MSP for farm produce. He did not realise that the new offer made by the centre to the farmers of entire nation was not even one-third of what the Congress government had promised and implemented in Karnataka State.
He said while the then BJP government’s Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani had denied special status to backward Hyderabad-Karnataka, under which Bidar come, the UPA government had worked hard to make sure the amendment to the Constitution to introduce new section 371(J) that had immensely helped the people of the region and provided them funds for development and jobs for the youth.
Mr Gandhi alleged that while the BJP government was raking lakhs of crores of rupees through higher tax on petrol and diesel, it was not ready to spend it on the poor and women.
“This is because Mr Modi wants to help his rich friends. This is the reason he wrote off RS 2.5 lakh crore defaulted loans by the rich in the PSU banks. But in Karnataka, the Congress government runs for the people and works to uplift those who are deprived. This is the difference between the BJP and Congress,” he added.
Mr Gandhi also sought the Union Government to share at least 50 per cent of the amount involved in loan waiver scheme of Karnataka.
“Can’t it come to the aid of the poor farmers, when it could at one stroke waive amounting to Rs.250,000 crore due from industrialists” he asked. (UNI)