Congress President Rahul Gandhi targets PM Modi on Rafale Deal
In a blistering Congress attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Rafale deal, Rahul Gandhi asked the PM to come clean on former French President Francois Hollande’s contradicting remark for the Indian government’s stand on the Rafale deal. “It is very important for PM now to either accept Mr. Hollande's statement or state that Mr. Hollande is lying and tell what the truth is,” the Congress president said at a press conference at the AICC headquarters in Delhi. "Former French president calls our PM a thief... What is staggering is that the Prime Minister is still silent on it. Not a single word from him," Mr Gandhi said at a press conference on Saturday afternoon. "The prime minister himself has given a contract of Rs. 30,000 crore to Anil Ambani. Anil Ambani had a debt of Rs. 45,000 crore and was bailed out by PM Modi," he said. Hollande’s comments, in an interview to a Paris-based investigative news website called Mediapart on Friday, contradicted the NDA government’s stand that it had nothing to do with the selection of offset partners for Dassault after the deal was inked in September 2016. The former French President in the interview had said that it was the Indian government which proposed that Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence should be the “service provider” to Dassault Aviation in the Rs 59,000-crore deal for 36 Rafale fighters. Modi had announced the procurement of a batch of 36 Rafale jets after holding talks with then French president Hollande on April 10, 2015 in Paris.