NEW DELHI: In a veiled reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress party chief Rahul Gandhi called him 'India's Commander in Thief' and shared a video on French-based journal Mediapart's recent report on the Rafale deal.
The sad truth about India's Commander in Thief. pic.twitter.com/USrxqlJTWe
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) September 24, 2018
The video, created by French digital video publisher Brut, highlights the main points of Mediapart's interview with French President Francois Hollande.
Hollande has claimed said the French government didn’t have a say in choosing the Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence for the Rafale deal.
“The Indian government suggested this service provider and Dassault negotiated with Ambani. We did not have a choice, we took the interlocutor we were given," said Hollande to the French investigative paper.
Hollande's comment unleashed a fresh tug of war between the BJP and Congress.
"President (Former) Francois Hollande should also enlighten us how the price went up from 590 crores in 2012 to 1690 crores in 2015 per Rafale fighter jet? Escalation of a mere 1100 crores. I am sure the Euro equivalent would not be a problem to calculate," tweeted Congress leader Manish Tewari.
Citing conflicting media reports on Francois Hollande`s claims, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that that there was "no partnership as suggested by the former French President". Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also reiterated similar views, stressing that Dassault and Reliance got into an agreement on their own.
India is currently verifying the French report. The Ministry of Defence spokesperson, however, reiterated that neither India nor the French government had any say in the commercial decision.