Cong's Rafale campaign hit

Cong's Rafale campaign hit

Congress President Rahul. PTI

Congress' high voltage perception battle against the Modi government on corruption charges appeared to receive a setback with the extradition of Christian Michel, the alleged British middleman accused of bribing Indian officials in the UPA-era Rs 3,600 crore VVIP chopper deal.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi stepped up attack on the Congress telling an election rally in Rajasthan that his government has succeeded in extraditing a “keeper of secrets” in the helicopter scam.

“The entire family is now scared of the things which will be revealed. They are scared as to whose name will he take if he opens his mouth,” Modi said addressing a rally in Dausa in Rajasthan.

In Hyderabad, Congress President Rahul Gandhi countered questions on Michel's arrest in the AgustaWestland deal with allegations in the Rafale fighter aircraft purchase from French company Dassault.

“The Prime Minister should explain why he gave Rs 30,000 crore on Rafale to Mr Anil Ambani,” Rahul told reporters in Hyderabad when asked about the AgustaWestland case and Michel's extradition.

He added that the Congress had already made its position clear that BJP's strategy in the AgustaWestland case was of misguiding, mudslinging and misleading.

The Congress was also battling allegations from the BJP that it had deputed a Youth Congress office bearer and lawyer Aljo Joseph to appear on behalf of Michel in the local court here.

“I appeared for Christian Michel in my professional capacity. If somebody asks me to appear on behalf of a client, I have only discharged my duty as a lawyer. It has nothing to do with the Congress,” said Joseph who heads the legal wing of the Youth Congress.

Prior to Rahul's comments, Congress chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala had accused the BJP of wanting to manufacture “false evidence” in the AgustaWestland case instead of discovering their own “corruption” in the case.

Surjewala referred to reports by Michel's lawyer in Dubai about her client being forced by the Indian investigative agencies to sign a false confessional statement naming the top Congress leaders in the case.