Congress leader alleges former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee passed away on 14 Aug, was kept on life-support to ensure Modi’s I-Day address not cancelled?

In a shocking revelation, which cannot be confirmed independently, a senior Goa Congress leader has alleged that former PM and senior BJP leader Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee had breathed his last on 14th August late evening or during the intervening night of 14-15 August itself, but his demise was kept a top secret and he was put on life-support on the instructions of the PMO to ensure that 15th August – Independence Day was not declared a day of mourning, resulting in the cancellation of all events and I-Day programs across the country, including the PM’s Red Fort speech.

This was also done keeping in mind national security and law and order issues, the Congress leader told IndiaScoops.com.

The Goa Congress leader later clarified to IndiaScoops.com that he was not able to verify this information, and it was based on messages floating on social media.

He however did state that some senior Goa BJP Ministers were aware of the demise of the former PM on 15th morning itself, and a pall of gloom had descended on their faces during the I-Day functions, across the State.

IndiaScoops.com has not been able to independently confirm or verify any of these allegations and does not subscribe or endorse them. This post is published, merely based on messages which have appeared on social media over the last 3 days and some conflicting press reports, which were edited and republished later on.

We tried to ask several prominent citizens and political leaders across the country to clarify the gossip on social media, but they all stated that besides the Prime Minister, the PMO and a handful of top AIIMS doctors, nobody would be in the know, even if it did happen and the rumours were true.

“If a decision was taken by the Prime Minister himself, in the interest of national security and law and order in the country, besides the PM and a couple of doctors including the AIIMS director, nobody could tell if it’s true or false,” said a former Union Minister and Supreme Court advocate, speaking to IndiaScoops.com.

However, it must be pointed out that similar rumors have been doing the rounds on social media platforms, since the evening of 15th August, with BJP workers expecting the worst.

IndiaScoops.com contacted several BJP leaders and politicians from different parts of the country, who re-directed us to the PMO saying they were not authorised to comment or give inputs on matters relating to the Prime Minister or the PMO.

PMO officials were not available for comment on 15th August.

Even an article in The Statesman – which was edited and corrected later on, mentioned and reported the premature news.

While the official announcement was made by AIIMS only after 5.15 pm on 16th August, The Statesman reported that ‘rumours started floating around 2.30 pm that the BJP leader was no more, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the hospital, but the AIIMS authorities are yet to release any statement.’

Social media gossip allegedly claims that Vajpayee passed away late evening or during the night of 14-15th August, but to ensure that there was no disruption in the I-day events, the hospital authorities did not release the news on the instructions of the PMO.

The former PM was kept on life-support, also with the hopes of reviving him, but the doctors were not successful and after PM Modi visited the hospital on 16th August around noon, the decision was taken to pull off the life-support and withdraw the machines, announcing the demise.

According to media reports, PM Modi visited AIIMS on two occassions on 16th August, further fueling rumors of the former PM’s demise.

An AIIMS statement late on 14th August evening said:  “Unfortunately, Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s condition has worsened over the last 24 hours. His condition is critical and he is on life support system,” AIIMS said in the last statement issued late on Wednesday.

Social media users took this as a hint, gossiping that Shri Vajpayee had passed away and several posts started doing the rounds on Facebook, alleging that the former PM was no more.

Vajpayee had only one functional kidney. In 2009, he had suffered a stroke, which weakened his cognitive abilities. Subsequently, he developed dementia, says The Statesman report.

Justifying the delayed decision a member on Quora – a social media platform writes:

All decorations at the BJP office that were made on the eve of Independence Day were taken down this morning (16th August morning). Death of Bala Saheb (Bal Thackeray) was also declared many hours later because everyone was afraid of crowds and public outrage that could’ve taken place.

Firstly, national security is taken into attention (sic) during these situations. Secondly, traffic situations are considered and only then any declaration takes place, the user writes.

Several such posts have appeared on social media, giving credence or trying to justify the conspiracy theory and rumours that our beloved former PM Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee may have passed away much earlier than it was actually declared by the Government of India. 

What do you think? Tell us in the comments below…

Chidambaram blasts BJP, RSS after ATS arrests 3 with a huge cache of arms and explosives and links to extremist Hindu outfits

A day after the Maharashtra ATS arrested three men affiliated to radical Hindu outfits for plotting terror attacks, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Saturday, August 11 asked if the RSS and BJP would condemn those outfits.”Maharashtra ATS announced the arrest of three men affiliated to radical Hindu outfits.

Who rules Maharashtra? The BJP. Hindu, Muslim or any other religion, radicalism is radicalism. Terror is terror. There is no purpose in burying one’s head in the sand,” said Chidambaram on Twitter.”Will the RSS and BJP condemn those who are plotting and planning terror attacks?” he asked.

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Friday claimed to have foiled a terrorist attempt to strike in different parts of the state following the arrest of three persons and seizure of at least 20 crude bombs and explosives and material used in bomb-making.

Official sources said the first to be arrested early Friday was Hindu Janjagran Samiti (HJS) activist Vaibhav Raut from his home in Nala Sopara, Palghar district, just north of Mumbai.Later, his accomplice Sharad Kalaskar was arrested from there by the ATS teams, which were accompanied by a dog squad and forensics experts.

A third right-wing activist Sudhnava Gondhalekar—allegedly linked to Shri Shiv Pratisthan—was arrested from Pune.The sources said that the accused planned to carry out terror hits in Mumbai, Pune, Solapur and Satara districts in the coming few days.

Source: Nagpur Today

“You Promised Support To Modi”: Congress Leader’s Crushing Retort To AAP, Kejriwal

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has so far been silent on the combative words from Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party.

But today his party colleague Sharmistha Mukherjee picked up cudgels on his behalf and took on AAP, saying its “boycott” of the Rajya Sabha deputy chairman elections has only helped the BJP, reports NDTV.

Mr Kejriwal has been at loggerheads with the Centre and Prime Minister Narendra Modi since his party swept to power in 2015.

But the abstention of his three lawmakers from today’s voting not only pulled down the opposition score but helped the government by lowering the majority mark, says NDTV.

“AAP says ‘politics does not run on ego’. Indeed! That’s why @ArvindKejriwal is sulking & decided to abstain from voting in RS, helping BJP,” tweeted Sharmistha Mukherjee, daughter of former president Pranab Mukherjee.

AAP had made its support to opposition candidate BK Hariprasad conditional – they wanted Mr Gandhi to dial Mr Kejriwal and seek his help.

When that call did not come, the deeply upset party declared that it will stay out of the election.

Accusing the Congress of discourtesy, party leader Sanjay Singh said, “If Rahul Gandhi can hug Narendra Modi, why cannot he ask Arvind Kejriwal for support to his party’s candidate”.

Congress sources said three senior leaders — Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma and Ahmed Patel — had called AAP, but Mr Kejriwal wanted a call from Rahul Gandhi, which was not made, reports NDTV.

Mr Gandhi was in Chennai yesterday, attending the funeral of DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi.

Today, Ms Mukherjee, a spokesperson of the party’s Delhi unit, tweeted:

Why should @RahulGandhi seek support from a person who openly pledged to support & campaign for Modi in 2019 provided a demand of his is met. Politics is a battle of ideologies, not a playground for opportunists indulging in quid pro quo.

The reference was to the Mr Kejriwal’s unthinkable declaration in Delhi assembly in June that he was ready to campaign for the BJP in 2019 if Delhi was given full statehood.

The strained relation between the Congress and AAP has its roots in the 2011 anti-corruption movement, when AAP was not formed and Mr Kejriwal and his close colleagues were aides of Anna Hazare, who led the movement.

It was one of the factors that had hugely discredited the UPA government and helped the BJP win in 2014 general elections.

In 2013, AAP formed the government in Delhi with Congress support, but after 49 days, Mr Kejriwal stepped down, accusing the Congress of allying with the BJP and blocking the Jan Lokpal bill.

During Mr Kejriwal’s face off with Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, he received messages of support and encouragement from most opposition parties. But there was none from the Congress.

Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken dismissed Mr Kejriwal’s sit-in protest at the LG’s house as “drama”.

Source: NDTV

Atrocities against women happening today in PM Modi’s rule, didn’t happen in 3,000 years: Rahul Gandhi

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of remaining silent on incidents of alleged rape, including in shelter homes in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, and asserted that what is happening against women during his tenure, had not happened in the previous 3,000 years in India, reports PTI.

Mr. Gandhi also said that his aim was to have 50% women in the Congress while asserting that the BJP cannot put forward such a vision as its “parent organisation”, the RSS, was a “male chauvinist organisation”.

Taking a swipe at the government’s campaign of “beti bachao, beti padhao”, he said that it was actually for “saving the daughters from BJP MLAs”, an apparent reference to some BJP leaders accused in rape cases.

He alleged that Mr. Modi had remained silent over the atrocities against women in the backdrop of rapes of girls in shelter homes in Muzaffarpur in Bihar and in Uttar Pradesh.

“The Prime Minister speaks on everything — bullet train, aeroplanes, toilets, but not women. Whenever there are atrocities on women, he does not speak up,” Mr. Gandhi said.

“[He] had talked about changing India, had talked about 70 years…what they have done against women in the last four years, had not happened in the previous 3,000 years in this country, leave alone 70 years,” Mr. Gandhi said.

The Congress leader, while addressing a “Mahila Adhikaar Sammelan” at Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi, promised to extend his party’s full support to the passage of the women reservation bill and said if the Modi government does not bring it, the Congress will do so soon after coming to power.

He also talked of empowering women within the Congress and bringing them forward in the organisation, for them to lead a State or the country one day.

He promised to include more women in central units of the AICC, saying “the country needs them”.

“In U.P. women are raped, the Prime Minister does not say a word on it. In Jharkhand and in various States women are raped, in Bihar small girls are raped, but our Prime Minister cannot speak a word on it,” he said.

In a reference to the Unnao rape case, Mr. Gandhi said that in U.P. “their MLA is accused of rape”, but the Prime Minister does not say a word.

Women across the country go out scared, he claimed.

The Congress chief also said that whenever the prime minister goes abroad, he embraces leaders, but has no answer to the question — why women are not safe in India.

He promised to bring women to the forefront of the party in framing policy, manifesto and strengthening the organisation. He said his job as the Congress president is to ensure women have equal space in the organisation.

“We are going to create space for you in the Congress party. We need to create special space for women in our party. We need to create a space at every level.

“The RSS and the BJP will never be able to show the country a similar vision. Their parent organisation, the RSS, in its history has never allowed a woman into its organisation,” Mr. Gandhi said.

“There are other organisations in the BJP that have females in it, but the RSS is a completely male chauvinist organisation that does not believe in giving space to women,” Mr. Gandhi alleged, adding that they simply “can’t do what we can do“.

The day one woman enters the RSS, it will not remain the RSS, Mr. Gandhi said.

The ideology of the BJP and the RSS is that India will be run by men, women cannot run this country, he said.

“Women’s place is at the back and men’s place is in front. This is the biggest difference between us and them,” the Congress leader said.

Launching a fierce attack on the Prime Minister, Mr. Gandhi said various institutions were under attack from the BJP and the RSS, who have “devastated” the country, and that the Congress party will unitedly defeat them in the coming days.

“Institutions are under attack in the country, be it Parliament, vidhan sabhas and the judiciary. Minorities, Dalits, women, tribals, small businessmen are under attack. We will fight the BJP and defeat them in the coming days.

“The Congress party and the opposition are working together to fight the ideology of the BJP. We are fighting an ideological battle,” he said.

Talking about the women reservation bill, which is pending for the last few years, the Congress chief said the BJP lacks commitment on the issue.

Promising to bring women forward within the Congress and give them their rightful place, Mr. Gandhi while pointing to the slogan “your fight is our fight” put up at the conference, said you can add “your right is Congress president’s fight”.

He said if he faced with a choice between a man and a woman for selecting election candidate, he will choose whoever is more capable.

“If both are equally capable, I will choose the woman as a candidate,” Mr. Gandhi said.

Mr. Gandhi, along with Mahila Congress president Sushmita Dev, unveiled the flag and the symbol of Mahila Congress.

Mr. Gandhi also said that the media should no longer worry, while alleging that the BJP and the RSS are frightening them.

Source: PTI

India needs relief from Narendra Modi’s ‘bogus achche din’ promises: Rahul Gandhi

There is a “rising tide of anger” against the Narendra Modi government — and its four years marked by corruption, economic failure, incompetence and spread of social divisiveness — and people want the Congress and its allies to give them an alternative to Modi’s “bogus achche din” promise, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said on Tuesday, reports the Indian Express.

Addressing a meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party, Rahul signalled that the central theme of the party’s 2019 campaign will be “failure of the Modi government” to implement promises made before 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the alleged controversial Rafale fighter jet deal, bank frauds, agrarian distress, and the economic and job situation.

There has been a “systematic attack” on institutions ever since the “BJP and the RSS” have come to power, the Congress chief maintained. “In modern India, these institutions were called temples of democracy. Today, the RSS is intent in destroying every single one of them,” he said. “Every single institution is being penetrated by their people and the nature of institution itself is being changed,” Indian Express quoted Rahul Gandhi as saying.

He claimed that the “crisis of governance” in India is at its peak under the Modi government. “There is a rising tide of anger against the ruling dispensation. That calls upon all of us to work very hard to give the people of India the alternative they deserve — an alternative to the bogus promise of Modi-ji’s achche din.”

Rahul said, “In 2014, when he was elected, Modi-ji said India had been a slow ‘passenger train’ for 70 years after Independence. Now, under his guidance and rule, the country will become a sleek and shining magical train destined for achche din, he said. Give me your votes, Modi-ji said, and ‘I will take you on the best and most comfortable journey of your life’.

“Four years of Modi Rule later, sadly, India today looks more like a train that is being driven to disaster by an autocratic, incompetent and arrogant driver, who does not care what happens to passengers,” he said.

Arguing that the people of India are demanding change, he said they will “no longer be fooled by your (BJP’s) magical train headed for a bad accident”.

Rahul said farmers are agitating, the youth are restless and there is discontent at the lack of opportunities to earn and live with dignity. “Cabinet ministers are now publicly saying there are no jobs,” he said.

“The Rafale scam, involving over Rs 1.3 lakh crore of public money and designed to bail out debt-ridden corporate cronies of Modi-ji, is symbolic of the true ‘sanskar’ of this government — Raam naam japna, paraya maal apna,” he said, referring to an old Hindi film song indicating corruption, says Indian Express.

Source: Indian Express

ABP Proprietor Told Me Not to Name PM Narendra Modi, I&B said ‘anything can happen’ to you, says PP Bajpai

Journalist Punya Prasun Bajpai has claimed that his former employer, ABP News, had asked him to avoid references to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his criticism of government policies during his prime-time show Masterstroke.

His team was also asked to avoid using pictures and video footage featuring Modi, he wrote in an article for The Wire on Monday.

Bajpai’s allegations come on the heels of his and ABP News Managing Editor Milind Khandekar’s resignations, following criticism from senior ministers for airing a report that claimed that a woman in Chhattisgarh had been tutored to make false claims that her income had doubled during a video interaction with the prime minister.

Also Read: To Save their Jobs, sacked ABP Journos were Asked to Submit a Written Undertaking not to criticize PM Narendra Modi

After the report appeared in July, Bajpai said he received a call from a government official who warned him of consequences. Soon after, ABP News began to experience disturbances with its satellite signals and its advertisers were threatened, he claimed.

After he resigned, the satellite signals of ABP News got restored and advertisements were back, he said.

Bajpai quoted a conversation he claimed he had with the editor-in-chief, who is also the proprietor, of ABP News on July 14:

“Is it possible that you do not use Narendra Modi’s name? Use his ministers’ names if you want. You can report on the wrongs in government policies – name even the ministers, but please do not mention Narendra Modi.”

“But if the prime minister himself announces all schemes, and is linked with the work of all ministries, when every minister utters his name every time they mention any scheme or government policy, how can one not mention him?”

“Let’s see what happens after a few days. You are doing the right thing, but please hold on for now.”

Scroll.in has emailed Atideb Sarkar, CEO of ABP News, about Bajpai’s allegations. This story will be updated if he responds.

Shekhar Gupta, of The Print, who is also president of the Editors’ Guild of India told Scroll.in: “When the Editors’ Guild takes a call, you will know about it. I don’t know who has said what.”

Boycotts and threats
After Masterstroke aired the Chhattisgarh report, its ratings began to rise, but the Bharatiya Janata Party started to boycott the news channel all over the country, Bajpai alleged. Both the party and government decided to stay away from the channel’s annual summit, he wrote in The Wire.

Also Read: To Save their Jobs, sacked ABP Journos were Asked to Submit a Written Undertaking not to criticize PM Narendra Modi

“This gave the message to every news channel that if they oppose the government, their business will suffer,” Bajpai said. “The government of the world’s largest democracy has started the process to strangle the democracy, so that no news channel moves away from praising the government to doing ground-zero reportage.”

The government claimed the Chhattisgarh report of ABP News was false, and ministers began to criticise the channel’s coverage. The channel sent back its reporter to interview the woman. After this follow-up report was aired on July 9, an official from a team that monitors news channels at the Information and Broadcasting Ministry allegedly called Bajpai. The person said “anything could happen now”, and asked him to be cautious, Bajpai wrote in The Wire.

Bajpai said that a 200-member team at the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, headed by an additional director general, monitors the content of news channels. Based on the team’s reports, the Prime Minister’s Office advises editors of news channels, and if they do not comply, they go to the proprietors.

A day after he received the official’s call, the channel’s satellite links started getting disrupted at 9 pm and remained so till 10 pm, Bajpai claimed. Masterstroke is telecast from 9 pm to 10 pm on weekdays.

Also Read: To Save their Jobs, sacked ABP Journos were Asked to Submit a Written Undertaking not to criticize PM Narendra Modi

When this continued for three consecutive days, the channel decided to inform viewers about the disruptions, but the management withdrew this notice too within hours, according to Bajpai.

“The pressure was not just of the channel’s broadcast getting disturbed, but also that information about it should not go out,” he wrote. Soon, not just the national channel of ABP news, but four regional language channels also started getting disturbed, Bajpai wrote.

“Meanwhile, some advertisers – including the largest advertiser who claims to fight against foreign brands – withdrew their advertisements.” There was information that advertisers were also being threatened by “invisible powers”, he claimed.

The advertisement of Patanjali, the company he was referring to, returned on air after his resignation, Bajpai said.

Source: Scroll.in

To save their jobs, sacked ABP journos were asked to submit a written undertaking not to criticize PM Modi in future

Two journalists from ABP News, Managing Editor Milind Khandekar and Punya Prasun Bajpai had reportedly resigned days earlier, stirring debates on Twitter and leading the Opposition Congress to allege that the government of India was interfering in the media after both journalists had carried out a story that contradicted the government’s claim.

The journalists’ were particularly critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and even mentioned his name in their reports.

According to media reports, Managing Editor Milind Khandekar and primetime anchor Punya Prasun Bajpai tendered their resignations amid allegations of “pressure from the Centre” doing the rounds.

Senior journalist Abhisar Sharma also went “on leave”. These developments come days after Union Ministers such as Nirmala Sitharaman and Rajyavardhan Rathore tweeted against ABP News with the hashtag #UnfortunateJournalism, criticising a story that was critical of the government.

Now according to the latest information leaking out of the ABP newsroom, the top ABP bosses had given the journalists an option. Fall in line with the management diktat and submit a written undertaking not to criticize PM Narendra Modi and the BJP government at the Centre in future shows.

Says a source at ABP: The channel management was aware of the negative impact and widespread criticism of the media house, if the journalists were directly asked to quit and wanted to avoid it at all costs. Even the government didn’t want them to go immediately as the BJP government and Modi would automatically get mired into the controversy, with the Opposition parties having a field day.

As a face saving measure for all – the PM, the government, the channel management and the journalists, the duo – Bajpai and Sharma were asked to submit a written undertaking stating that they would stick to the management stand and not indulge in any ‘adventure journalism’.

The management wanted them (Bajpai and Sharma) to give a water-tight written undertaking in the form of an ‘additional contract’ says a source, which would have legally bound both the TV anchors to dance to the management’s tunes. If they were ready to do so, they could continue with their jobs, they were told. But they turned down the offer and continued with their tirade against the Center.

When the journos refused to sign the undertaking, Managing Editor Milind Khandekar was asked to sack Bajpai the next day. Instead Khandekar chose to quit himself.

Bajpai resigned a day later in protest, against what he called ‘acute management interference in editorial matters’. Sharma was asked to proceed on a 15-day leave and was taken off-air.

Last month, the channel elicited strong comments from the government for a story on Masterstroke in the wake of a video interaction Prime Minister Narendra Modi held on June 20 with beneficiaries of various government programmes.

A participant from Chhattisgarh, a farmer, Chandramani Kaushik, told Modi on the show said that her income had doubled after she switched from cultivating paddy to growing custard apples.

Sources said the channel was under great pressure to reign in the “errant” journos.

Asked how exactly the channel was being pressurized, the source at ABP said, “Sponsors were pulling out, and not just government sponsors. There are private companies that stopped advertising on ABP,” reports The Quint.

with inputs from Scroll.in, The Quint and The Wire

Narendra Modi a ‘Dalal’ or ‘Broker’ and ‘Commission Agent’ of the Ambanis’, not a ‘Chaukidar’ but ‘Bhagidar’: Sanjay Nirupam

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:

narendra-modi-anil-ambanis-dalal

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.

Rafale Fighter Jet contract given by Narendra Modi to a ‘businessman friend’ who has not even manufactured a bicycle: Raj Babbar

Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) president and Rajya Sabha MP, Raj Babbar, hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale deal, accusing him of benefiting a private businessman who happens to be his friend, who has no knowledge of fighter jets and has not even manufactured a bicycle, reports India Today.

Addressing a press conference in Lucknow, Babbar said “How can a company which has no experience of even making a bicycle get Rafale contract? This clearly shows PM Modi’s nexus with businessmen and the ground-breaking ceremony was conducted in Lucknow on Sunday just to hide his incompetence. ‘Dramebaazi‘ is being done by him everywhere.”

Hailing Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for attacking PM Modi during his speech during the no-confidence motion, Babbar said “Rahul has exposed in the Parliament how PM is benefiting few businessmen in the country. He also exposed the discrepancies in Rafale deal but Modi had no concrete reply.”

Babbar also replied to Modi’s comment on relations with industrialists. The PM, in a gathering at Lucknow, said that in the previous government businessmen used to bow down in front of politicians back door.

Hitting out at Rahul Gandhi, PM Modi on Sunday in Lucknow had said that there is no shame in standing with businessmen if intentions are clear.

Without taking Gandhi’s name, PM said that in the previous regimes businessmen used to bow down in front of politicians in backdoor meetings but his govt has ensured full transparency.

“We want to tell the PM that Rahul Gandhi has no picture with any businessmen because he doesn’t meet them. You promised employment to 2 crore people but have now said that only 2 lakh youths will be given jobs, why such hypocrisy is being done ?” asked Babbar.

“Prime Minister keeps on saying that he is a “bhaagidaar” but is not issuing any clarification on the Rafale deal. People made him a “chaukidaar” but he has become a “bhaagidaar” in favouring industrialists and ignoring the plight of farmers who are facing the worst crisis under BJP rule”, said Babbar.

Also hitting at the callousness of the government with regards to farmer deaths, he said “Farmers are committing suicide in UP every day but both PM and UP CM aren’t bothered. At least 70 people have lost their lives in the rain-related incidents across UP but there was not even a single word of condolence from these leaders.”

He also attacked the UP government for police brutality in Allahabad where female students were lathi-charged by the cops for trying to register their complaints to BJP chief Amit Shah during his visit.

Source: India Today

Taxpayers Will Pay 1 Lakh Crore To PM’s Friend For Rafale: Rahul Gandhi taunts favouritism to Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence

NEW DELHI:  Congress president Rahul Gandhi today stepped up his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging that the tax payers would have to pay Rs. 1 lakh crore over the next 50 years to “Mr 56’s friend” for maintaining the 36 Rafale aircraft that the country was buying.

Mr Gandhi has been taking a swipe at PM Modi using the “56-inch-chest” remark that the latter had made at elections rallies in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The Congress had also been questioning the prime minister about when he would show that “broad chest” while dealing with Pakistan and China.

“Over the next 50 years, Indian Tax Payers will pay Mr 56’s friend’s JV, 100,000 Cr to maintain 36 RafaleScam jets, India is buying,” Mr Gandhi tweeted.

The Congress chief attached an investor presentation of Reliance Infrastructure, saying there was “truth” in it, which would soon be denied “as usual” by Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in a press conference.

The Congress has been attacking the BJP government over the Rafale deal, alleging favouritism in granting the offset contract to Reliance Defence in violation of the rules. It had accused PM Modi and Ms Sitharaman of “lying” to the nation on the issue.
The party had described the deal as the “biggest example” of crony capitalism and alleged that national interest was compromised. It had also given a notice for breach of privilege in the Lok Sabha against the prime minister and defence minister on the issue.
Source: PTI