In a hard-hitting, no holds barred, fearless attack on PM Narendra Modi, Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam accused Modi of being a ‘dalal’ and ‘broker’or ‘commission agent’ for the Ambanis’, reports Marathi publication ‘Sakal‘.
He is not a ”Chaukidar‘ but ‘Bhagidar‘ (not watchman, but partner) and is getting a cut or commission from the Ambanis on all the deals that the NDA government has approved for the Reliance Group, said Nirupam, who was speaking at a protest rally organised by the Mumbai Congress from Fashion Street to Azad Maidan in South Mumbai against the corruption in the Rafale Fighter Jet deal.
Nirupam was accompanied by former MP Eknath Gaikwad, Bhalchandra Mungekar, Mumbai-North MLA Aslam Shaikh, Mumbai Mahila Congress President Ajanta Yadav and Congress office bearers and activists who participated in the rally, which was attended by nearly 1000 people.
Taking the battle right up to Modi’s doorstep, Nirupam said:
Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence which has bagged the Rafale deal, has never manufactured a nut or bolt of an aeroplane, forget a complete fighter aircraft and the NDA government led by Modi has given the entire contract to his “friend” Anil Ambani, whose company was registered only 10 days before the contract was signed.
Here is the online version of the Sakal article:
With merely eight months left for the general elections, the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets – worth Rs 60,145 crore – is gradually becoming the biggest political thorn in the side of the Narendra Modi government, reports The Wire.
Days after Rahul Gandhi accused the Union government of hiding facts about the controversial fighter jet deal during the no-confidence motion in parliament, the Congress on Friday released a new set of documents to back up his claim that the Rafale purchase is one of the most blatant incidents of cronyism in independent India’s history.
Alleging multiple violations in the deal that could compromise India’s national security, the Congress said that both the prime minister and defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman “lied” to the nation in order to favour the Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Infrastructure Limited, reports The Wire.
The then defence minister Manohar Parrikar had gotten to know about the deal only a week before it was announced in a foreign land – a convention-defying act by the prime minister. Such deals have to compulsorily be approved by the cabinet committee on security but Modi unilaterally concluded the agreement.
Then, it became evident that the Modi government bought each plane at more than Rs 1,600 crore while the previous UPA government had negotiated the deal with Dassault at only Rs 526 crore, reports The Wire.
The controversy became worse when it emerged that a joint venture company between Reliance Defence Limited (RDL) – a subsidiary of the Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Infrastructure Limited (RIL) – and Dassault Aviation secured the offset deal at Rs 30,000 crore. This raised eyebrows as the public sector defence company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) had landed the offset contract in the deal that the UPA government had struck with the French aviation company, reports The Wire.
That RIL had no experience in manufacturing planes in contrast to HAL, whose sole occupation is manufacturing defence planes, ruffled many feathers last year. In addition, the clause which required Dassault to transfer its technology to HAL also found a quiet burial as the public sector company was denied its biggest ever offset contract, reports The Wire.
Although the offset contract given to the Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited – a joint venture between RDL and Dassault – is worth Rs 30,000 crore, the Congress released RIL’s papers which claimed that “a consequent Lifecycle Cost Contract” of Rs 1 lakh crore was also awarded to it, states The Wire.