Modi ran parallel talks with France on Rafale: Rahul

Modi ran parallel talks with France on Rafale: Rahul

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Friday said the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) was directly involved in conducting negotiations with the French side on the Rafale deal and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was "guilty" in the scam. ANI photo

Mounting a fresh attack on the Modi government, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of running a parallel negotiation with the French government on the Rafale deal, undermining the process carried out by the Defence Ministry.

Flashing a media report, an aggressive Rahul said it was crystal clear that the Prime Minister was directly involved in negotiating the Rafale deal in favour of his industrialist friend Anil Ambani.

“I want to speak to every member of the armed forces of this nation... Here, it is absolutely clear that the prime minister has stolen Rs 30,000 crore of your money, bypassed a process, and given it to his friend Mr Anil Ambani,” he said at a press conference at the AICC Headquarters here.

The Congress President read out from a document purportedly from the Defence Ministry to assert that the Prime Minister's Office was carrying out parallel negotiation with the French on the Rafale deal.

READ: DefMin objected against PMO undermining Rafale talks

“Now, it is crystal clear that the ministry itself has said, and I will read it to you, 'It is therefore clear that the parallel discussions by the PMO have weakened the negotiation of the MOD and the Indian Negotiating Team. We may advise PMO that any officers who are not part of the Negotiation Team may refrain from having parallel parleys with the officer of the French government',” Rahul said.

He said the fresh revelations about the concerns voiced by the then Defence Secretary over “parallel negotiations” also put a question mark on the Supreme Court verdict on the Rafale deal.

“If the Supreme Court had this document, do you think they would have given this judgment,” the Congress President asked.

Rahul countered Modi's sharp attack that the Congress was raising questions on the Rafale deal at the behest of corporate rivals.

“Of course it is corporate warfare between the corporates and the Defence Ministry and Mr Narendra Modi is the representative of Anil Ambani. PM is right. 100%. Who is he doing parallel negotiations for ... for Anil Ambani,” he said.