Rafale deal: Modi is corrupt, says Rahul, BJP rejects charges
New Delhi: Turning up the heat on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale deal, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday called him “corrupt” and asked him to quit following revelations that inclusion of an Indian private defence partner was an “imperative and obligatory” condition for awarding the contract.
Rebutting Gandhi’s allegations, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party accused the Congress President of belittling national security and spreading lies. Gandhi’s latest salvo came following French website Mediapart on Wednesday reporting that Reliance Defence was given to Dassault Aviation, manufacturer of the Rafale jets, as an “obligatory” offset partner for the deal announced by Modi in April 2015.
“The Prime Minister of India is corrupt,” Gandhi said at a special media briefing here. Questioning Modi’s “deafening silence” , despite allegations of corruption directed at him, Gandhi said the Prime Minister must resign.
“Allegations of corruption are being directed at him and the Prime Minister is silent. He should resign if he cannot respond (to the charges),” he said. Gandhi also read out excerpts from Mediapart report, which quoting Dassault’s Chief Operating Officer Loik Segalen, said that the choice of the Indian private entity was a “compensation” for the purchase of the fighter jets.
“What is he being compensated for,” asked Gandhi alleging that “Modi put Rs 30,000 crore in his industrialist crony’s pockets.” “Ex-president of France (Francois Hollande), no less, has said that India’s PM is corrupt, now the company which got the contract, its senior executive is saying that India’s PM is corrupt,” said Gandhi, pointing to the French website’s earlier report quoting Hollande as saying that India had proposed the Indian private entity as the partner for the deal.