Rahul Gandhi claims more facts on Rafale deal will be revealed soon

Congress president Rahul Gandhi said more facts on the Rafale fighter deal and the Vijay Mallya row will be out soon as he used his home turf Tuesday to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

This is the beginning, he told reporters on the last day of the two-day trip to his Amethi Lok Sabha constituency.

He said there will be more on the Rafale deal, and on the people who were involved with the fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya.

The truth will be before you and you can judge, he said.

Earlier, the Congress chief took part in a meeting of the district vigilance and monitoring committee.

He said the deal for 36 French fighter aircraft signed by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government had harmed the interests of the youth, reminding them that a unit of the public sector HAL existed in Amethi as well.

The Congress has been attacking the Modi government over an offset agreement signed by Rafale manufacturer Dassault with Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group.

The party has claimed that the deal would have gone to HAL under the earlier negotiations being carried out by its own government.

Reliance has rejected the charge that the current government was involved in any way in its commercial deal with the French company.

Source/Credits: PTI

Rafale Deal: Technical HODs at Dassault Aviation claim Reliance Defence was never the first choice, decision to drop HAL was taken by CEO Eric Trappier at the last minute

In complete contradiction to what an official press statement from the French aviation giant Dassault Aviation, manufacturers of the Rafale fighter aircraft say, two top technical heads at Dassault Aviation (DA) have claimed in an exclusive interview with IndiaScoops.com, that the entire technical staff team at Dassault Aviation were unhappy with the move to drop the Indian PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and go ahead with Reliance Defence Ltd.

Speaking to IndiaScoops.com on phone, the two internal experts pointed out that there was a discussion between officials at DA and several emails were exchanged over a period of 7-8 days. The entire technical team wanted to work with HAL, but the decision was overruled by the top DA management headed by CEO Eric Trappier at the last minute.

Also Read: GOI told us take Reliance or No Deal: Former top Hollande aide stands by ex-President’s statements on Rafale

“We were sure we would be working with HAL and not any other Indian company. At least a 100 emails went to and fro from different departments at DA on the issue. At the last minute, we were informed that HAL was dropped and a new Indian company with whom we had never worked before and which had no expertise in manufacturing fighter aircraft was selected for the job. The entire technical team and our team heads and HODs were shocked. It was a bolt from the blue. But we had to follow instructions. At the end of the day, it’s profitability for the company that matters and if the top management decided to work with Reliance Defence, we had to toe the line. We all knew that the new company had no expertise, no experience. Internally, this issue was discussed among the technical HODs on email and several emails went to and fro. But it was CEO Eric Trappier and a couple of other officials’ at DA who took the decision to go with Reliance Defence,” the officials told IndiaScoops.com.

The decision to drop HAL and go with Reliance Defence Ltd was that of CEO Eric Trappier and two others who mysteriously refused to listen to any advice of the departmental HODs and selected Reliance on the grounds that the deal would be scrapped, they told IndiaScoops.com in an exclusive interview.

“We were told the Indian government would have scrapped the deal if Reliance was not taken on board. (Read Here) Scrapping the deal would mean losses for the company and hence the top management headed by CEO Eric Trappier  took the decision to work with Reliance, even though the in-house technical HODs had vetoed working with a new company having no experience and expertise – this was the official explanation given to the team. The technical HODs told the Dassault Aviation top management that handing over the contract to a new company would compromise and jeopardize the technology and equipment as well as be hazardous for the over-all image of DA as a world-class manufacturer of fighter aircraft. This has been put in writing on several emails, but the final decision by CEO Eric Trappier and two others  was in favor of Reliance Defence,” they told IndiaScoops.com.

IndiaScoops.com has with held the names of the officials concerned to protect their identity as “confidential sources” primarily as they are not authorized by DA to speak to the media, given the fact they head vital technical teams at DA and revealing their identity would violate their employment contracts and also prevent us from accessing further information.

Dassault, one of the world’s most established and experienced defence manufacturers, picked Anil Ambani’s debt-ridden firm as a partner in India, “because it was registered with the MCA (Ministry of Corporate Affairs) and had land in Nagpur which provided access to the runway,” said top sources at the French firm, in a damage control move, speaking to NDTV on the condition of anonymity.

As justification, those reasons are unlikely to tamp down the opposition’s allegations that Anil Ambani benefited from brazen crony capitalism in a massive $8.6 billion deal for India’s purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France, a deal that was negotiated personally and then announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016 during a visit to Paris, reports NDTV.

According to an Economic Times (ET) report, the French government has said it was in no manner involved in the choice of Indian industrial partners for the multi-billion dollar Rafale fighter jet deal as former French president Francois Hollande’s reported comments that New Delhi proposed Reliance Defence as the Indian partner for the contract escalated the political row over it.

While the French government said French companies have the full freedom to select Indian firms for the deal, Dassault Aviation, the makers of Rafale, said it had made the decision to partner with Reliance Defence Ltd, reported ET.

Both the French government and French aerospace company Dassault issued separate and varying statements following a French media report which quoted Hollande as saying that the Indian government proposed Reliance Defence as the partner for French aerospace giant in the Rs 58,000 crore Rafale deal and France did not have a choice.

The sensational comments quoted to Hollande by French publication ‘Mediapart’ gave a new twist to the controversy as the Indian government has been maintaining it was not officially aware of whom the Dassault Aviation has selected as its Indian partner to fulfill offset obligations of the deal.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the procurement of a batch of 36 Rafale jets after holding talks with then French President Hollande on April 10, 2015 in Paris.

“The French government is in no manner involved in the choice of Indian industrial partners who have been, are being, or will be selected by French companies,” the French government said in its statement as quoted by ET.

NDTV reported that Hollande’s office said he stood by his earlier remarks and statements made to Mediapart.

Hollande’s comments drew sharp reactions from the opposition parties in India, which have been accusing the government of massive irregularities in the deal and benefiting Reliance Defence Ltd (RDL) despite not having any experience in the aerospace sector.

According to a report in The Hindu, the former French President Francois Hollande claimed that the Indian government suggested industrialist Anil Ambani’s company as the offset partner for the €7.87 billion deal to purchase 36 Rafale fighter jets. Hollande was the French President at the time the deal was signed in 2015.

He told a French news outlet, Mediapart.fr, on Friday that his government didn’t have “a choice” in the selection of Reliance Defence, the company owned by Anil Ambani.

“It is the Indian government which has proposed this service group and it is Dassault that has negotiated with Ambani. We didn’t have a choice, we took the interlocutor that was given to us,” he was quoted as saying.

Repeated assertions
His comments fly in the face of repeated assertions made at the highest level of the Indian government that it was Dassault Aviation (DA) that selected Reliance Defence as its offset partner. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said “no offset contract has been signed so far” and an agreement between two companies did not require the permission of the government.

“As per the applicable guidelines, DA is free to select the Indian offset Partners and provide their details at the time of seeking offset credits, or one-year prior to the discharge of offset obligation,” the government had stated.

Responding to Hollande’s comments, the Defence Ministry tweeted that the statement was being “verified.” “It is reiterated that neither [the] Government of India nor [the] French Government had any say in the commercial decision,” the Ministry said in a tweet.

In September 2016, India and France signed a €7.87 bn agreement for 36 Rafale jets in fly-away condition. The deal includes aircraft, spares, weapons, maintenance and performance guarantee for five years. The deal has a 50% offset clause to be executed by DA and its partners. Under this, DA and Reliance Defence have set up a joint venture to manufacture aerospace components.

In a recent interview Ms. Sitharaman denied any government role in the choice of offset partner in the Rafale deal.

She had said, “Isn’t that a decision of a commercial enterprise to take on its own? I have nothing to do with it. I have not prompted them, not led them, not told them, not instructed them. I have not done any match-making whatsoever.”

The Reliance Group had stated that it got the offset contract from DA and did not receive any contract from the Defence Ministry till date.

with inputs from The Hindu and The Economic Times

Rafale deal: It’s a surgical strike on defence forces by Modi, Anil Ambani, says Rahul Gandhi

Upping the ante on the Rafale issue, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Anil Ambani jointly carried out a “surgical strike” on the defence forces.

His renewed attack on Modi came a day after a French media report quoted former French president Francois Hollande as purportedly saying that the Indian government proposed Ambani’s Reliance Defence as the partner for Dassault Aviation in the ₹58,000 crore Rafale jet fighter deal and France did not have a choice.

The PM and Anil Ambani jointly carried out … SURGICAL STRIKE on the Indian Defence forces. Modi Ji you dishonored the blood of our martyred soldiers. Shame on you. You betrayed India’s soul (sic),” Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

Modi had announced the procurement of a batch of 36 Rafale jets after holding talks with then French President Hollande on April 10, 2015 in Paris.

Source: PTI

“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

Where are the Jobs” Why Rahul Gandhi and Congress praised union minister Nitin Gadkari

In a sarcastic remark over Union minister Nitin Gadkari’s “where are the jobs” comment, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Monday praised the BJP leader for his “excellent question”, saying every Indian had the same query, reports the Indian Express.

Gandhi’s remark comes a day after union road transport minister, in reference to the ongoing Maratha agitation, said reservation would not guarantee employment as jobs were shrinking in the country.

Talking to reporters in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad district, Gadkari was quoted by PTI as saying, “Let us assume the reservation is given. But there are no jobs. Because in banks, the jobs have shrunk because of IT. The government recruitment is frozen. Where are the jobs?”

Taking a swipe at Gadkari, Gandhi tweeted, “Excellent question Gadkari Ji. Every Indian is asking the same question.” He also tagged a media report carrying Gadkari’s remarks.

The Congress party also put out a tweet, applauding Gadkari for being the first BJP minister to speak the truth about employment in the country. “We applaud Nitin Gadkari for being the first BJP Minister to speak the truth and courageously raise the question that we and the people of India have been asking,” Congress tweeted, with the hashtag WhereAreTheJobs.

Congress leader and lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi too rubbed it in, saying finally there was one honest politician in the BJP. “Finally one honest Neta in BJP but that too not entirely. Tho candid & outspoken, clearly even sr leader like Nitin Gadkari made 2attribute lack of jobs to AI & not BJP policies in a clumsy attempt to save face,” he tweeted.

Lack of employment has been one of the main planks of Congress’ strategy to corner the Narendra Modi-led government ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Even during the no-confidence motion debate in the Lok Sabha, Gandhi had taken a swipe at the Narendra Modi government over job creation.

“You said every person will get Rs 15 lakh – this is jhumla No 1. You said two crore youth will get jobs every year, this is jhumla No 2. In 2016-17, all over the country, four lakh people have got jobs according to the labour survey. The Indian youth had faith in the PM as in every speech of his he said he will give 2 crore jobs to the youth.” he had said.

“China provided 50,000 youth jobs every day. But the PM generates only 400 youth jobs every day. Wherever you go, you speak about jobs — make pakodas, open shops… who will give jobs? Jobs will be given by small business and shops,” the Congress chief further said.

Source: Indian Express

Ashamed? Then take immediate action: Rahul Gandhi to Nitish Kumar on Muzaffarpur sex scandal

New Delhi: It took a number of days for Nitish Kumar to break his silence on the alleged sexual assault of 34 women in a Muzzafarpur shelter home that has enraged the entire country, reports Zee News.

When he did speak – on Friday, the Bihar CM said he is ashamed of the incident. It is this admission that rival parties have clung to with Congress president Rahul Gandhi saying that if Nitish Kumar meant what he said, he must act immediately.

Rahul on Saturday was at a Rashtriya Janata Dal-led sit-in protest where he said the state CM should take stern action against those guilty.

“We have gathered here for the women of our country and we stand with them. If Nitish ji is really feeling ashamed then he should take immediate action,” he demanded.

Beside him was RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav who has already accused Nitish of trying to shield Brajesh Thakur, the owner of the shelter home who is believed to be politically influential.

Thakur is the prime accused in Muzaffarpur shelter home case. At least 34 girls were allegedly sexually assaulted at the shelter home.

He has also been named in a case pertaining to another shelter home run by him. Eleven women have reportedly gone missing from the shelter home.

Rival parties have been targetting the JDU-BJP combine in Bihar for being lenient on crime and of not taking action in the particular case of Muzzafarpur sex scandal.

Saturday’s protest was attended by – among others – Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI’s D Raja, LJD’s Sharad Yadav and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee.

Source: Zee News

Rahul Gandhi chairs CWC meet, decides to target Modi govt on corruption

Congress party chief Rahul Gandhi on Saturday chaired the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting held in New Delhi. He said key issues pertaining to corruption, the political situation of the country and unemployment were deliberated in the CWC meeting, reports the Indian Express.

This was Rahul Gandhi’s second CWC meet as Congress president. UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi was not present at the meeting today. “The CWC met today. As a team, we discussed the political situation in the country & the huge opportunity for the Congress to highlight issues of corruption and failure of the government to provide jobs to our youth. Thank you to all those who attended today’s meeting,” Gandhi wrote on Twitter.

Addressing media after the meet, senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot mentioned that besides the issues of National Register of Citizens (NRC), Draft Bill, corruption, bank fraud cases and Rafale deal, the party is also preparing for the upcoming elections in four states. “Issues of NRC Draft Bill, corruption, bank fraud cases and Rafale deal were discussed in CWC. Discussions were held on the issue of unemployment. We have also started preparations for upcoming elections in four states,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.

After the CWC meeting, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that the party will launch a public campaign or ‘Jan Andolan’, against the Narendra Modi-led government in the next few days while in consultation with state units and leaders, according to a report by PTI.

The Congress alleged that the government’s ‘complicity and connivance’ in helping Mehul Choksi escape has been exposed and quoted Antiguan authorities who said that Indian agencies gave no unfavourable information against Mehul Choksi when a background check was conducted before granting the billionaire his citizenship.

Surjewala said that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) was initiated by late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1985 after signing an accord with Assam and it was Congress’ ‘baby’.

“The NRC is a baby of the Congress party and it will ensure that no Indian citizens is deprived of his legitimate right,” he said.

During the previous CWC meet on July 22, the Congress had laid down its strategy for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The party, which will fight the election under the stewardship of Gandhi, will set up a group to look into forming alliances across the country.

The party also decided on a mass movement to highlight issues including agrarian distress, joblessness, state of the economy, atrocities against Dalits and tribals, attacks on women, foreign policy and worsening internal security and restoration of institutional integrity to take on the BJP-led government.

The members of the new CWC are: Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Motilal Vora, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, AK Antony, Ahmed Patel, Ambika Soni, Oommen Chandy, Tarun Gogoi, Siddaramaiah, Anand Sharma, Harish Rawat, Kumari Selja, Mukul Wasnik, Avinash Pande, K C Venugopal, Dipak Babaria, Tamradhwaj Sahu, Raghuveer Meena, Gaikhangam and Ashok Gehlot.

Source: Indian Express

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