Jaiveer Shergill
Jaiveer Shergill

Congress kick starts campaign against Rafale deal

By Siddharth Sharma (ANI) | Updated: Aug 25, 2018 13:42 IST

New Delhi [India], Aug 25 (ANI): The Congress has started a nationwide campaign from today in order to "force" the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Central Government to answer allegations leveled against it in the controversial Rafale deal.
As per the strategy drawn to corner the government, the Congress will be holding as many as 100 press conferences across the country over a period of time to "wake up" the government. While former Union Minister P. Chidambaram addressed the media today in Kolkata, Ajay Maken will hold a press conference in Chandigarh, Shakeel Ahmed in Dhanbad, Pratap Singh Bajwa in Dharamsala and Pawan Khera in Gurugram. The media briefings will culminate on September 26.
"Through Rafale deal, the BJP has done encounter of transparency, Make in India and Defence Procurement scheme," Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill told ANI adding "The Centre needs to tell the people of this country how they have done corruption worth Rs 42,000 crore through this deal? How they took the contract from a government company and gave it to their friend? We will force the BJP government to give answers regarding this deal. The BJP is not a corruption-free government, rather it is an investigation-free government," he added.
The Congress party is all set to stage a district-wise protest to reach out to the common man on the issue of the Rafale deal. State units have also been directed to organise protests in all headquarters of the states on the issue. For the month-long campaign programme, the Congress has fielded 50 leaders, including the former ministers and spokespersons of the party
The Congress has repeatedly attacked the BJP on the Rafale deal on several occasions. During the No-Confidence Motion in the Lok Sabha last month, Congress president Rahul Gandhi claimed that he had met French President during his visit to India and asked him about the secrecy clause in the pact. He further claimed that the French President had denied about any such clause.
Despite France clarifying that there was a 2008 security agreement between the two countries in this regard that legally binds the two nations to protect classified information, Rahul stood by his claims and got support from other Opposition leaders as well.
In 2008, India had signed a deal with France-based Dassault Aviation to purchase 36 Rafale jets, which is slated to be one of the world's biggest military procurement in recent history and could cost the Indian government USD 15 billion. (ANI)