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Congress stand vindicated, says Mallikarjun Kharge after French probe in Rafale deal

News Agencies | Updated on: 4 July 2021, 15:50 IST
Mallikarjun Kharge

After a French judge was appointed to investigate alleged corruption in the sale of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft to India, Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Rajya Sabha on Sunday said Indian National Congress' stand is vindicated as "the scandalous details of the scam have been revealed".

Kharge, through the official Twitter account of LoP, alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi "compromised national security" by signing the deal for 36 jets instead of the 126 jets as requested by the Indian Air Force.

"A French judge has been appointed to investigate the alleged money laundering, corruption, influence peddling and undue favours in the Rafale deal. Rahul Gandhi and the Indian National Congress stand vindicated, the scandalous details of the scam have been revealed," LoP tweeted.

"In 2016, PM Narendra Modi compromised national security and signed a deal for 36 jets instead of the 126 requested by Indian Air Force for 7 squadrons. This pushed the price of each aircraft up by 41.42 per cent and the price of each aircraft increased from Rs 526 Crores to Rs 1670 Crores," he said in another tweet.

Kharge said that in 2018, Francois Hollande said that Reliance's selection as Dassault's partner was only the government of India's decision.

"Dassault pledged up to 159 million euros i.e. 94 per cent of the funds for 49 per cent stake in DRAL while Reliance was given the majority 51 per cent stake for only 10 million euros! As per the confidential partnership agreement, the sole purpose of Ambani's firm was "marketing for programs and services with the GOI" i.e. to exert political influence and clout with the BJP. Was Anil Ambani being used as a lobbyist for foreign interests?" he asked.

He further noted that in 2019, the then Chief Justice of India had dismissed the need for an inquiry into the Rafale deal.

"However, the new revelations have substantiated the doubts regarding the dubious deal. A JPC must be immediately constituted to probe the matter," he added.

Earlier today, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi slammed the Centre and questioned why is the Centre not ready for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe.

In a tweet, the Congress MP wrote, "Why is PM Modi government not ready for a JPC probe?".

Congress leader Pawan Khera also slammed the Centre and asked Prime Minister to answer why 36 jets were purchased instead of 126 jets.

On Saturday, Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala had demanded an inquiry by a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) inquiry into the Rafale deal after France initiated investigations into alleged corruption in the Rs 59,000 crore Rafale deal signed with India in 2016 for the sale of 36 Dassault-built fighter jets.

The Congress said that it will also take up this matter in the upcoming Parliament session.

Congress General Secretary Randeep Surjewala said that with the commencement of the investigation into the Rafale deal in France and the latest revelations, in this case, Congress and Rahul Gandhi have been proved right.


Also Read: Rahul Gandhi says why is PM Modi not ready for JPC probe?

First published: 4 July 2021, 15:50 IST