The Congress party has said that if it is voted to power in 2019 Lok Sabha elections, it will ensure that all middlemen and beneficiaries of the Rafale deal are penalised and sent to jail. Addressing a press conference in Kanpur on Wednesday, Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi said that the Rafale fighter jets deal caused a loss of Rs 41,000 crore to the country.
Furnishing documents related to the deal between Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government and the French government, Priyanka asked that if the company manufacturing Rafale jets can reveal the value of the deal, why was the Centre refraining from addressing Parliament over the same.
The Congress leader also questioned the BJP-led NDA government over not accepting the demand of a Joint Parliamentary Committee, raised in the past by Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
“When the UPA was in power, they used to raise the demand for the constitution of JPC on every other issue. You came to power with the promise of becoming a ‘chowkidar’, how did you become a scamster?” said Priyanka Chaturvedi.
She referred to the Modi government as a “dictator government”. “Whenever questions were raised on any minister during the UPA government, Prime Minister used to take cognisance of it. Now Modi government is destroying the democratic traditions.”
Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi also attacked the NDA government over the Rafale deal. He cited that Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had turned down a request from Russia to make another private Indian entity its partner for the joint manufacture of Rs 3,000-crore worth of AK-103 assault rifles for the Indian Army.
Pointing that the Narendra Modi government had reportedly advised Russia that its firm Kalashnikov Concern should tie up with the state-run Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) if it wants its proposal to manufacture the AK-103 assault rifles in India to be considered by the Defence Ministry, the Congress asked as to why the same norm was not applied “in the Rafale Scam”. “Why did Modi government not advise Dassault Aviation to negotiate further with government run HAL?” read the statement.
(With inputs from Rajesh N Agarwal, Zee Media)