Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday once again targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Reliance Defence’s Anil Ambani over the Rafale fighter jets deal. Taking a dig at Prime Minister Modi and Ambani, the Gandhi scion said that to bag “India’s biggest defence contracts”, one had to be a “defaulter” of Rs 45,000 crore.
Sharing a report on Ericsson asking Supreme Court to prevent Anil Ambani from leaving India on microblogging site Twitter, the Congress chief listed three alleged norms for getting defence contracts from the government.
The Congress chief tweeted, “Modi's Operandi for handing out India's biggest defence contracts: 1. Be a defaulter of 45,000Cr. 2. Owe money to other companies who beg Supreme Court not to let you leave India. 3. Be called ‘Bhai’ by PM but have no relevant experience.”
During a public rally at Wardha in Maharashtra on Tuesday as well, Rahul Gandhi had questioned as to why Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence was given the Rafale contract.
"PM Modi has not answered questions about why Anil Ambani's company was given the contract and not Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). Ambani has never made a single plane but HAL has been doing it for decades. Why was it still ignored," the Congress chief had said.
Prime Minister Modi-led NDA government has, however, rubbished the allegations made by the Congress, with Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman terming the charges as “half-truth and baseless arguments”.
"Campaign which Congress is doing with half truth and baseless arguments is almost sabotaging Indian Armed Forces' operational readiness and support is being reflected from our not so friendly neighbour," Sitharaman had said.
The Defence Minister denied that the Rafale deal had snatched jobs from the Indian aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).
"There is no truth in the Congress allegations on the Rafale deal as they are based on falsehood and half-truths. The question of taking away jobs from HAL does not arise as the UPA government had no deal with its maker Dassault Aviation," Sitharaman had told reporters on Sunday.