Absolutely convinced Modi is corrupt: Rahul

Congress president Rahul Gandhi addresses the media on Rafale deal issue in New Delhi on Saturday. PTI

Stepping up attack on the Rafale deal, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said that after former president of France Francois Hollande's revelations he was “absolutely convinced” that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was corrupt.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Rahul questioned Modi's silence on the issue even when a former president had called “our Prime Minister a thief”.

“For the first time, an ex-French president is calling our PM a thief. It is a question of the dignity of the office of prime minister. It is the question of the future of our jawans and the Air Force,” Rahul said.

“... The ex-President of France has now said that in that meeting (with Modi), I was clearly told that the contract had to go to Mr Anil Ambani. It is now up to the prime minister of India to clear his name, " he said.

Congress leaders believe by turning up the heat on the BJP government on issues such as Rafale and Vijay Mallya's escape would help them portray Modi as a “corrupt” leader, a charge that does not appear to stick on the prime minister.

“We are absolutely convinced that the prime minister of India is corrupt. This question is now clearly settled in the mind of the Indian people that ‘desh ka chowkidaar’ chor hai,” Rahul said repeating the allegation he hurled at Modi at a rally in Rajasthan on Thursday.

The Congress president accused the defence minister and the finance minister of shielding Modi.

“The reality is that people are speaking lies... And to protect whom? Manohar Parrikar, Nirmala Sitharaman, Arun Jaitley did not sign the Rafale deal...

“There is complete silence. defence minister will speak, Arun Jaitley will speak, but the prime minister cannot speak. Why can't he speak? Because the chowkidar (watchman) has walked away with the loot,” Rahul said

“I only want to tell you, that the person whom you trusted, he has betrayed you,” the Congress president said.

Earlier, Rahul took to Twitter accusing Modi of launching a “surgical strike” on the armed forces along with Anil Ambani.

“Modi Ji you dishonoured the blood of our martyred soldiers. Shame on you. You betrayed India's soul,” he said.

Youth Congress activists hit the streets demanding Modi's resignation as prime minister following Hollande's revelations that the BJP government gave Hollande no choice but to select Reliance Defence as the offset partner in the Rafale deal.

Congress leaders are now pining their hopes on the hearing over the issue in the French Parliament, which could lead to more documents being accessed under France's Freedom of Information Act.

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Absolutely convinced Modi is corrupt: Rahul

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