Rafale deal only to allow re-tendering of jet contract, says Rahul Gandhi

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the reported re-tendering of a $15 billion fighter jets deal.

Rahul also claimed that the "Rs 40,000 crore loss to exchequer" on account of the Rafale deal was "sayonara" (goodbye) money to the French that would allow the prime minister to re-tender the contract for fighter aircraft.

"Modi Scam Alert! $15 Billion fighter jet deal re-tendered. PM's friends race to tie up strategic partners. Rafale, 40,000 crore loss to exchequer was 'Sayonara' money to French, so PM could re-tender contract and favour friends," he posted on Twitter.

Rahul has been targeting the Modi government over the Rafale deal, demanding answers from it on various aspects of the contract that was re-negotiated during the prime minister's visit to France in 2015.

He had also accused the prime minister of helping his friends from the corporate sector to avail of the offsets accruing out of the deal at the cost of defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

As per the deal finalised during the UPA rule, HAL was to originally manufacture Rafale jets under the transfer of technology provisions.

The Congress had also claimed that the government has brought the aircraft at thrice the price that the UPA regime had negotiated with the French company.

During his visit to France, Modi scrapped the deal to buy 126 Rafale fighter jets from Dassault Aviation and instead opted to purchase 36 aircraft in ready to fly condition.

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