Mumbai: The Maharashtra Congress will carry out a protest march on September 27 here to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the formation of a Joint Parliamentary Committee to probe the Rafale fighter jet deal.
Addressing a press conference Saturday, Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan hit out at Modi claiming that for the latter, business interests of friends was greater than the interest of the nation. He further alleged that details pertaining to the Rafale deal, which he claimed was a scam, was being brushed under the carpet under the guise of national security.
"Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman are misleading the people and betraying their trust. Both should resign immediately. Due to the scam, Modi's corrupt face has been exposed," Chavan claimed.
The Congress has been accusing massive irregularities in the deal, alleging that the government was procuring each aircraft at a cost of over Rs 1,670 crore as against Rs 526 crore finalised by the UPA government when it was negotiating procurement of 126 Rafale jets.
Chavan also hit out at the Centre for not having a firm policy on restive Kashmir. "The government is preparing to celebrate surgical strikes (as Surgical Strike Day on September 29). But, terrorists severed the head of a soldier. Army personnel are getting martyred in Kashmir every day," he said.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) had Thursday directed varsities and higher educational institutions across the country to observe September 29 as "Surgical strike day".
In another development, Nationalist Congress Party's Maharashtra unit chief Jayant Patil Saturday claimed that the Modi government's clarification on the Rafale aircraft deal had no meaning after former French President Francois Hollande's comment on it. "The Modi government has been fully exposed," Patil claimed.
Hollande was quoted in a French media report as purportedly saying that the Indian government proposed Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence as the partner for Dassault Aviation in the Rs 58,000 crore Rafale jet fighter deal and France did not have a choice. The Defence Ministry, in a statement Saturday, said "unnecessary controversies" are being sought to be created following media reports regarding a statement purportedly made by Hollande concerning the selection of Reliance Defence as the offset partner by Dassault Aviation, the manufacturers of Rafale aircraft.
"The government has stated earlier and again reiterates that it had no role in the selection of Reliance Defence as the Offset partner," the ministry said Saturday.