Rafale deal: Modi behaved like medieval monarch, Cong

Rafale deal: Modi behaved like medieval monarch, Cong

Senior Congress leader S Jaipal Reddy addresses the media on the issue of Rafale deal scam, at AICC headquarters in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI

In a direct attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress on Tuesday said that he behaved like a 'medieval monarch' when he re-negotiated the Rafale fighter jet deal to give a “bonanza” to a “failed industrialist”.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Congress spokesperson and former Union Minister S Jaipal Reddy described the Rafale deal finalised by Modi as a “brazen and gargantuan contract” that could stunt the growth of India's only aircraft manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

“This is a brazen and a gargantuan contract. Brazen because none of the procedures was followed. Gargantuan because, the difference between UPA deal and the current deal is Rs 41,000 crore,” the Congress leader told reporters.

Reddy claimed the Rafale contract was a “direct deal” between Modi and Anil Ambani, who he described as “the only top industrialist in the country who has failed as an industrialist”.

The former union minister likened Modi to a “medieval monarch” Louis XIV of France who ruled between 1643 and 1715.

“Since Modi was in France, he was the spirit of Louis XIV, who said 'I am the state' and also tried to silence the voice of the Opposition,” Reddy said adding that the prime minister himself decided to do away with the defence procurement procedure in finalising the Rafale deal.

“The price negotiation committee was not consulted, the Cabinet Committee on Security was not consulted, we don't know whether the Air Force was consulted. Narendra Modi entered into the contract on his own,” he said.

Congress' personal attacks on the prime minister are part of an attempt to dent Modi's “incorruptible” image that has helped him remain popular among the masses.

A recent 'India Today – Mood of the Nation' survey showed that 49% of the respondents still had Modi as their first choice for prime minister.

Reddy claimed that just two days before the Rafale deal was announced by Modi in Paris, the Foreign Secretary had said at a media interaction that HAL was part of the contract.

“But, only one person in the country knew about the contract— Anil Ambani. That is why 12 days before the contract was signed he formed the company because he knew he would get it,” he said.