New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi stepped up his attack on the Narendra Modi government over Rafale deal in a press conference in New Delhi on Friday following The Hindu news report alleging that the defence ministry protested ‘parallel parleys’ by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) with the French authorities.
Rahul said the news report ‘makes it crystal clear that the Prime Minister was conducting parallel negotiations’ with the French government on Rafale deal.
‘We have been saying this for more than a year that the Prime Minister is directly involved in the Rafale scam…It is absolutely black and white that the Prime Minister himself was carrying a parallel negotiation with the French,’ Rahul said.
He added that PM himself robbed Air Force’s Rs 30,000 crore and gave it to Anil Ambani.
“Who do you think he’s doing parallel negotiations for? Not for you and me? It is for Anil Ambani… this proves that Chowkidaar is a thief,” said Rahul.
Continuing his attack on PM Modi. Rahul said that the entire Supreme Court judgement on the Rafale deal has now become questionable as the information was withheld by the government.
A report published by The Hindu said that ‘the French side took advantage of parallel parleys by the PMO and the Defence Ministry with the French government that weakened Indian team’s position’ during negotiations on Rafale deal.
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Friday said he has no problem if the government investigates his brother-in-law Robert Vadra or senior party leader P Chidambaram as long as it also answers questions on the Rafale jet deal.
“Whatever inquiry you want to do, you do it. You implement the law. Robert Vadra, P Chidambaram – you implement the law on everyone. No problem. But you also give answers on the Rafale matter,” he said at a press conference.
Vadra was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for nine hours on Thursday, the second day of his deposition in connection with a probe into allegations of money laundering to purchase assets abroad.
Karti Chidambaram, son of former finance minister P Chidambaram, was also questioned for about six hours by the ED on Thursday in connection with a money laundering probe against him in the INX Media case.
“You do whatever inquiry against Mr. Chidambaram you want. He will face any inquiry. You do inquiry on anybody you want…But please explain to us why the defence ministry is saying that prime minister has carried out parallel negotiations,” Gandhi said. Describing Rafale as an “open and shut” case, he said, “I am telling you that whatever investigation you want to do, you should do it. You are the one who is in government. But then investigate this (Rafale) too.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday strongly defended the Rafale deal during his reply to the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address in the Lok Sabha.
‘I am levelling a serious allegation. I want to say it on the floor of Parliament that the Indian National Congress doesn’t want our armed forces to be strong… You want the Rafale deal to be cancelled. On whose behest? For which company?,’ PM Modi said, attacking the Congress.