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Price of Rafale aircraft a 'national secret': Rahul Gandhi mocks Narendra Modi government

Congress has waged a war against the Modi govt over the controversial Rafale fighter deal.

Price of Rafale aircraft a 'national secret': Rahul Gandhi mocks Narendra Modi government

RAIPUR: Taking a dig at the Narendra Modi government at the Centre for not revealing the cost of the Rafale fighter jet deal between India and France, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has said that the present BJP dispensation considers it as a "national secret" though many people know about the same.

"The PM knows. Anil Ambani knows. Hollande & Macron know. Every journalist now knows. Defence Ministry babus know. All of Dassault knows. All Dassault's competitors know. But the price of the #RAFALE is a National Secret, that cannot be revealed even to the Supreme Court," Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

Rahul is currently on the campaign trail in poll-bound Chhattisgarh.  

The controversial Dassault Aviation-made Rafale deal was renegotiated during the tenure of French president Francois Hollande, who was succeeded by Emmanuel Macron.

Rahul, Congress and Opposition parties had been asking the Modi government to reveal the price of the aircraft, as negotiated by the NDA government.

The Congress chief has also accused the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of renegotiating the price of the aircraft and purchasing it at a price three times higher than what was negotiated by the erstwhile UPA government. 

He alleged corruption in the deal and favouritism towards the Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Group, a charge denied by both the government and the company.

Rahul had earlier claimed that the Prime Minister won't remain in office if an inquiry is started to look into allegations of his government's misdeeds.

Rahul said that the entire Rafale deal reeked of corruption.

"If an inquiry starts on this, Modi is not going to survive it. Guaranteed. One, because of corruption. Two, because it's very clear who the decision maker was. It was Narendra Modi and it was a deal done by Narendra Modi to give Anil Ambani Rs 3,0000 Cr," the Congress president said during a press conference. 

"Rafale is an open and shut case. It is simply a PM Modi-Anil Ambani partnership," he added.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court had on October 31 directed the Centre to submit the price and other details of the Rafale fighter jet deals in a sealed envelope within 10 days to the top court.

Clarifying that it doesn't want technical details pertaining to the Rafale deal, the Supreme Court asked the Centre to share information which can be brought in the public domain with the petitioners. Details considered "strategic and confidential" can be held back, added the top court. 

A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising of Justices U U Lalit and K M Joseph, was listening to two PILs filed lawyers Manohar Lal Sharma and Vineet Dhanda on India's deal with France to buy the fighter jets.