Rahul accuses Modi govt of changing Rafale deal to 'benefit one bizman'

Rahul accuses Modi govt of changing Rafale deal to 'benefit one bizman'

Rahul accuses Modi govt of changing Rafale deal to 'benefit one bizman'

Stepping up pressure over the Rafale fighter procurement, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday on accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of changing the deal to help one businessman.

"Can you explain 'Reliance' on someone with nil experience in aerospace for Rafale deal," Rahul asked on Twitter.

On Tuesday, the Congress had accused Modi of helping Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence Limited to get  a contract to produce Rafale fighter aircraft as part of the offset obligation, at the cost of state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

"Self 'Reliance' is obviously a critical aspect of 'Make in India,"  Rahul said, making a tongue-in-cheek reference to Dassault's agreement with Reliance as part of the offset clause of the deal to buy 36 fighter jets in a fly-away condition for the air force.

In a brief interaction with reporters, Rahul wondered why no questions were posed   to  the prime minister on the Rafale deal or BJP president Amit Shah on his son's businesses.

"You ask me so many questions & I answer you properly, why don't you ask the  prime minister about Rafale deal," Rahul asked.

"Why don't you ask questions about Amit Shah's son? These are the questions I wanted to ask you," Rahul said in reference to Jay Shah's business dealings.

In the run-up to the Gujarat Assembly elections, the Congress is trying to restrict the campaign narrative to economic issues and also trying to raise allegations of corruption against the Modi government.

The Congress has also claimed that the aircraft was being purchased at much higher rates than what was decided after the completion of the tender process by the previous UPA government.

It also accused the NDA government of doing away with the transfer of technology clause that was negotiated during the UPA regime.

The BJP has rubbished the allegations, claiming it was intended to "divert attention" from the  AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scandal in which senior Congress leaders were facing allegations.

French officials have dismissed the allegations levelled by the Congress saying that it was a "domestic political matter". The official asserted that the India decided to purchase Rafale after a fully transparent and competitive process.