Congress campaign on Rafale gathers steam

Congress campaign on Rafale gathers steam

Police detain a youth Congress member carrying a model of a plane during a protest over Rafale deal issue outside the AICC office in New Delhi, on Saturday. PTI

The Congress campaign against the Modi government on the contentious Rafale fighter aircraft deal with the NCP, the DMK, the CPM, the TDP and the AAP echoing the demand for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come clean on the issue.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi dismissed Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s questioning of former French president Francois Hollande’s remarks on the Rafale deal and renewed the call for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the fighter jet purchase.

"It’s high time he (Jaitley), the RM (Raksha Mantri) & our PM stop lying and call a JPC to establish the full, uncorrupted truth about the Rafale Scam,” Rahul said on Twitter.

The CPM said a JPC should be formed without delay so that the role of the prime minister and government is inquired into to find out the truth of the matter.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu demanded that Modi should break his silence on the revelations made by Hollande on the Rafale deal.

“PM Narendra Modi should answer to the people of the country on the revelations made by former French president Francois Hollande on Rafale Deal,” said Naidu, whose TDP till recently was a part of the ruling NDA.

Earlier this month, the TDP joined hands with the Congress in Telangana and was exploring a similar arrangement in its stronghold Andhra Pradesh.

AAP convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal demanded that the prime minister call a special session of Parliament to discuss the Rafale issue.

DMK president M K Stalin said Hollande’s remarks show that the Rafale deal was “suspect”.

"The PM is accountable to the people of India. A full-fledged enquiry should be ordered to find the truth,” Stalin said.

The NCP too has said that Hollande’s remarks had “exposed the lies” of the Modi government.

Congress senior spokesman Anand Sharma said the prime minister cannot escape accountability and promised to make fresh revelations on the Rafale deal in the days to come.

Sharma said the Congress if elected to power would launch a probe into the Rafale deal to fix accountability on the Modi.

Congress leaders believe that its sustained campaign on the Rafale deal has paid off and the charges now appear to resonate with the people.

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