BJP hurls questions at Rahul on Rafale deal

BJP hurls questions at Rahul on Rafale deal

Congress president Rahul Gandhi being received by KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao in Bengaluru. (DH Photo)

Amid the Rafale row and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's meeting with HAL employees in Bengaluru on Saturday, the Karnataka BJP launched a scathing attack against him.

Charging that Rahul was misleading people of the country, the BJP said that it was the UPA government which had "betrayed" the HAL employees by pushing the company out of the Rafale deal.

Even as Rahul entered Bengaluru, BJP MLA C T Ravi and spokesperson Ashwathanarayana posed a series of questions to him, demanding answers for them.

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BJP to Rahul:

1 In Jan 2012 Dassault Aviation was declared L1 by your UPA government for acquisition of 126 MMRCA aircraft for IAF. But the contract was not finalised. Till 2014 no action was taken by the UPA government. Was it not a serious compromise of national security by your UPA government during this period?

2. You have come to address HAL employees in Bengaluru today, but it is your UPA government that betrayed the HAL by not doing anything to help the HAL resolve differences with Dassault Aviation between 2012-2014 for the manufacture of Rafale in India. It was your government that back-stabbed and pushed the HAL out of the Rafale deal.

3. Your UPA government issued an RFP for the purchase of 126 MMRCA in August 2007. Till your government lost elections and went out of power in 2014, you had not concluded the MMRCA contract, creating an impression in the international community that it was difficult to do business with India and thus brought a bad name to the country.

4. You have been giving false and inconsistent statements about the cost of purchase of the Rafale in all your public meetings. Cost of a green aircraft as per your UPA government RFP issued in 2007 was Rs 737 crore. The cost of the same aircraft finalised by the NDA government is Rs 670 crore - which is 9% cheaper. You have been deliberately misleading citizens of this country.

5. Cost of a fully loaded Rafale aircraft finalised by the NDA government is Rs 1,638 crore, which includes weapons and India specific equipment, whereas your UPA government did not negotiate the contract with Dassault Aviation for a fully loaded aircraft. You cannot compare the UPA government green cost of Rs 737 crore with Rs 1,638 crore negotiated by the NDA government. You are deliberately lying to mislead people.

6. You have been making public accusations that Anil Ambani was favoured with Rs 30,000 crore of offset under the Rafale deal. Whereas, Dassault Aviation Chairman has given a statement a few days ago that only 10% of the total offset dispensation of Rs 3,000 crore has been invested by them in Reliance Defence. Anil Ambani’s company is one among the 100 Indian companies with whom Dassault Aviation is currently dealing with as India offset partners.