Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday alleged that French jet maker Dassault Aviation paid kickbacks to Indian industrialist Anil Ambani who bagged the offset contract in the 36 Rafale aircraft deal in April 2015.
Addressing his sixth press conference on the matter at AICC headquarters, Gandhi said Dassault CEO claims Ambani got the offset contract because he had the land for the company but “he lied”.
“It turns out Dassault invested Rs 284 crore in Anil Ambani’s company worth Rs 8.30 lakh valuation. It was with this money that Ambani bought the land needed for the company. Dassault CEO is lying and the question is why he paid this amount to a loss making firm? This is the first tranche of kickbacks given to Anil Ambani by Dassault and this is clear as day,” Gandhi alleged.
On a query about the government saying everything is above board in the deal, Gandhi said HAL had more land than Ambani but was sidelined. He asked why.
“Ambani bought land with the money Dassault gave him. Why is Dassault CEO lying? Who is he protecting? There is only one person he is protecting and that is PM Narendra Modi. This is clear cut 100 per cent open and shut case of corruption. Rs 284 crore has gone into Ambani’s account for absolutely no logical reason other than a kickback,” Gandhi said, adding that the PM “cannot survive an inquiry in the matter which was why the CBI chief was removed as he was looking at these papers”.
He reiterated the demand of a joint parliamentary committee probe into the deal.
“Modi is terrified. Rafale is open and shut case and one of partnership between Modi and Ambani. Fact is Ambani didn’t pay for the land — Dassault did. The CBI chief was looking at these papers. It is obvious that there is enough material in the public domain to nail Modi and the CBI chief was removed,” said Gandhi.
On the question of SC asking for pricing details of the jet, Gandhi said the French President had told him privately that pricing was not covered by a secret pact.
“I keep saying Rafale is an open and shut case of corruption because the deal was negotiated for a decade. Modi personally, not ex-Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, changed everything,” Gandhi added.