Thursday, 18 August, 2022
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PMO was directly involved in Rafale deal, Modi is guilty of scam: Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi renewed his attack on PM Modi after a news report claimed the PMO held talks with the French on the side, undermining the defence ministry's negotiations.

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New Delhi: The Prime Minister’s Office was directly involved in negotiations with the French on the Rafale deal and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was guilty in the scam, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said on Friday in a fresh attack on the government over the fighter jet agreement.

It is an open and shut case, Gandhi declared, citing a report in The Hindu newspaper claiming the Defence ministry raised strong objections to “parallel discussions” conducted by the PMO during the negotiations over the Rs 59,000 crore Rafale deal between India and France.

“I want to speak to every member of the armed forces of this nation… Here, it is absolutely clear that the prime minister has stolen Rs 30,000 crore of your money, bypassed a process, and given it to his friend Mr. Anil Ambani,” Gandhi said at a press conference.

The government, as well as Ambani, have strongly denied any wrongdoing in the fighter jet agreement with France.

Gandhi aslo r ead out from a document, purportedly from the Defence ministry, published in the newspaper.

“Now, it is crystal clear that the ministry itself has said, and I will read it to you, ‘It is therefore clear that the parallel discussions by the PMO has weakened the negotiation of the MOD and the Indian Negotiating Team. We may advise PMO that any officers who are not part of the Negotiation Team may refrain from having parallel parleys with the officer of the French government’,” Gandhi said.

The Congress president also reiterated his demand for a joint parliamentary committee to probe the Rafale deal.

The government can use the law against everyone, including his brother-in-law Robert Vadra and former Union Finance minister P Chidambaram, but must answer questions on the Rafale deal, he said.

“Whatever inquiry you want to do, you do it. You implement the law. Robert Vadra, P Chidambaram – you implement the law on everyone. No problem. But you also give answers on the Rafale matter,” he said.

He was responding to a question on the Enforcement Directorate interrogating Vadra in a money laundering case and the government’s sanction to prosecute Chidambaram in the INX MEDIA case.

On Thursday, the prime minister also hit back at the Congress over the Rafale issue, alleging that the Congress did not want the Indian Air Force to be strong.

Earlier in the day,Gandhi had dared Modi to a five minute face-to-face debate on issues such as the controversial jet deal and national security. -PTI

Rahul Gandhi arrives for the press conference | Praveen Jain/ThePrint

Also read: Narendra Modi is a coward and will run away from every debate with me: Rahul Gandhi

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  1. 1. Rahul Gandhi has every right to make accusations but citizen-voters have right to ask questions to both PM Narendra Modi & Rahul Gandhi. 2. I think that leaders of Congress & opposition parties are neither interested in finding out the truth as regards the Rafale aircrafts deal nor are they ready to promise that they will make efforts to end corruption in all defence deals. Citizen-voters like me wish that Congress & other parties should demonstrate political will to deal with corruption in all defence deals, which as we all know is rampant in such deals. 3. Reality is that making allegations of corruption against the NDA government and PM Narendra Modi, is easy but it is essentially a poll gimmick. These parties want to be voted to power in the coming Lok Sabha election. We know that what will happen if they are voted to power: the govt. will do nothing to end corruption in defence deals or to find out find out truth regarding the Rafale deal.

  2. Following are the quotes from N. Ram’s article in today’s THE HINDU:

    “…Citing “a glaring example”, the Defence Ministry note pointed out that General Reb in his letter had stated that “taking into consideration the outcome of discussions between Diplomatic Adviser to the French Defence Minister and Joint Secretary to PM, no Bank Guarantee is provisioned in the supply protocol and the letter of comfort provides sufficient assurances of the proper implementation of the supply protocol by the industrial suppliers.” …..

    This, the note stated, was “contrary to the position taken by the MoD and conveyed by Indian Negotiating Team that the commercial offer should be preferably backed by Sovereign/Government Guarantee or otherwise by Bank Guarantee.” Another instance of a contrary stand taken in the parallel negotiations was on the arbitration arrangement, the note pointed out.

    This is not the only instance of “parallel negotiations” in which the Indian side took contrary positions. It has already been reported elsewhere that the National Security Adviser, Ajit Doval, negotiated with the French side in Paris in January 2016 and The Hindu has access to documentation that confirms this. Mr. Doval’s advice to Mr. Parrikar on doing away with a sovereign guarantee or bank guarantee for the Rafale deal was also recorded by the then Defence Minister in a file noting.”

    This indeed shows interference by PMO, and of harmful kind. Sovereign Guarantee was apparently dropped due to this interference. Strange things, really.

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