‘PM held parallel negotiations with French Govt’: Rahul Gandhi attacks PM Modi on Rafale Deal

Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi racked up Congress in Lok Sabha, Rahul Gandhi on Friday hit back at Prime Minister over Rafale Deal – the issue which was continuously raised by Congress President and Other Opposition parties.

Rahul Gandhi while referring to a news report published by The Hindu on Friday which alleged “parallel negotiations” by PMO in the Rafale Defence deal, said that it is clear that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is directly involved in the Defence deal.

According to the report published by the English Newspaper, it was stated that, ‘At the height of the negotiations over the controversial €7.87 billion Rafale deal between India and France, the Defence Ministry raised strong objections to “parallel negotiations” conducted by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) with the French side. Stating that it was clear that such parallel discussions by the PMO had “weakened the negotiating position of MoD and Indian Negotiating Team,” a Defence Ministry note dated November 24, 2015 brought this to the attention of the then Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar.” the Report said that was published in early hours of Friday in The Hindu.

Rahul Gandhi while showing the copy of the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s reply to MoD dissent note on #Rafale negotiations said, ‘PM Modi himself robbed Air Force’s Rs 30,000 crore and gave it to Anil Ambani, we have been raising this since 1 year. Now a report has come where Defence Ministry officials say that PM was holding parallel negotiations with France Government’.

While reiterating the Demand of JPC Probe on the Rafale Deal, Gandhi said, We’ve been saying that there should be an inquiry through JPC. Now Ministry itself has said, ‘we may advise PMO that any officers who are not part of Indian Negotiating Team may refrain from having parallel parlays’.

‘Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman lied as well. Former French President has admitted that he was made to choose Anil Ambani by PM Modi himself’ Congress President Rahul Gandhi added.

While responding on PM Modi’s remark ‘Ulta Chor, Chowkidaar ko daante’ in Lok Sabha on Thursday, Rahul Gandhi said, ‘He’s talking about himself? He has got a dual personality? He’s now viewing himself as ‘Chowkidaar & ‘Chor’? He talks to himself at night, one day he becomes ‘Chowkidaar’ & one day he becomes ‘Chor’? Schizophrenia?

On his meeting with Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar, the Congress leader said that he did not raise the Rafale issue with the former Defence Minister. He said, ‘I met Manohar Parrikar ji, but there was no discussion on #Rafale. It was just a courtesy visit to inquire about his health’.

Yesterday, Mr. Modi gave a lengthy sermon, why doesn’t he answer these questions? Why doesn’t he state the reason for parallel negotiations?: Congress President said.

Congress President further said, ‘You people are rattled because corruption cases have been brought out: Do I look rattled to you? Please take a good look at the PM and take a good look at me and figure out who looks rattled’.

However, G Mohan Kumar who was the Defence Secretary at the time of Rafale negotiations told ANI, ‘It (MoD dissent note on negotiations) had nothing to do with price. It was about sovereign guarantees and general terms and conditions’. He added, ‘Whatever has been brought out ( recent media report on #Rafale by the Hindu) has nothing to do with pricing’.

Earlier on Thursday while speaking in the Lok Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacked Rahul Gandhi on Rafale Issue and alleged that the Congress did not want the Indian Air Force to be strong and asked: “which companies are they bidding for that they are acting so shamefully”.

PM said, ‘Congress doesn’t’ want our Air Force to be strong, I am leveling a serious allegation here. You want this Rafale deal to be canceled, on whose behest? For which company?’

The Apex Court on December 14 rejected the Petition filed seeking a court-monitored CBI-led investigation into the Rafale deal involving Rs. 59,000 crores for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets. A Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi ruled, “We are satisfied that there is no reason to doubt the process is followed and the need of aircraft is not in doubt.”

Following which, Congress National President Rahul Gandhi asserted that ‘No Such report has been placed in the Public Accounts Committee citing Mallikarjun Kharge who is the PAC Chairman. Mallikarjun Kharge lashes out on the government after CAG’s claim that PAC saw a report on Rafale

Two petitions were also filed later one by – Prashant Bhushan, Arun Shourie, and Yashwant Sinha asking the Top Court to review its judgment. Other Petition sought to review the December 14 Verdict was filed by AAP Leader Sanjay Singh on Monday, January 14. AAP Leader in his Petition demanded the identification of the individual who misled the top Court.

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