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  India   All India  15 Oct 2018  Modi directly involved in Rafale deal: Congress

Modi directly involved in Rafale deal: Congress

Published : Oct 15, 2018, 12:25 am IST
Updated : Oct 15, 2018, 12:25 am IST

Claims his silence raises several questions.

Anand Sharma
 Anand Sharma

New Delhi: Continuing with its campaign against the government over the Rafale deal, the Congress on Sunday claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was directly involved in it, adding that he had much to hide about it.

Questioning Mr Modi’s silence over the deal, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma claimed that only the Prime Minister was aware that the offset contracts would not be given to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

He added, “I say this on record that the Prime Minister has much to hide. His silence raises many fundamental questions because he is directly complicit. He is accountable personally. By the sequence of facts on record, it is very clear that it was his decision. Only he was privy to what he was going to do. That is on April 10, 2015, when he had a one-on-one meeting with the then-French President Francois Hollande.”

The former Union minister also questioned defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s visit to France, during which she will take stock of the progress of French firm Dassault Aviation supplying 36 Rafale jets to the Indian Air Force under the Rs 58,000-crore deal.

Mr Sharma maintained that there was a hike in the price of the fighter aircraft India was buying from France and asserted that the Prime Minister needed to clear doubts about the deal that had been raised. He said more details of the deal would emerge if a forensic audit carried out.

The Congress has been claiming that the aircraft will cost significantly more than what the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was negotiating.

The Congress has been claiming that the Rafale fighter jet deal is the biggest scam in the country since independence. The party has also demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into it.

Tags: rafale deal, prime minister narendra modi, hindustan aeronautics limited (hal), anand sharma