Rafale emerges as common thread in Congress campaign

Rafale emerges as common thread in Congress campaign

Kolkata: Congress workers shout slogans during a protest against Central Government over the Friday's arrest of their leader Rahul Gandhi, in Kolkata on Saturday, October 27, 2018. (PTI Photo/Swapan Mahapatra) (PTI10_27_2018_000090A)

New Delhi, DHNS: The contentious Rafale fighter aircraft deal is emerging as a common thread in the Congress campaign against the Modi government ahead of the Lok Sabha elections next year.

After linking the "forced leave" of CBI director Alok Verma to the "imminent" probe into the Rafale deal, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday held the "Rs 30,000 crore" offsets contract to Anil Ambani's fledgling company responsible for the "non-implementation" of the 'One Rank, One Pension' (OROP) promise Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made to the ex-servicemen community.

The Rafale deal also dominated the hour-long discussion Rahul had with a delegation of ex-servicemen from across the country at the AICC Headquarters here.

Since July, the Congress has been making persistent efforts to bring the Rafale deal to the centre stage of the politicial discourse by organising protest marches, petitioning state Governors, the President and hammering away at the Modi government at every election rally.

After the interaction with the ex-servicemen delegation, the Congress president claimed that the Modi government had handed out Rs 30,000 crore to industrialist Anil Ambani, but refused to meet the demands of the soldiers on OROP.

"The amount of Rs 30,000 crore is more than enough to solve the OROP issue," Rahul said after the interaction where former Defence Minister A K Antony and senior leaders Ashok Gehlot, Randeep Surjewala and Major Ved Prakash were present.

Rahul told the ex-servicemen that if Congress was voted to power in the 2019 parliamentary election, it will "fulfill all the commitments" the UPA had made on the OROP issue.

Rahul's personal interest in the Rafale campaign is also evident from the fact that he has so far addressed four press conference on the aircraft deal at the party office here besides keeping the issue alive through regular tweets and public speeches.


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