Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi

Rafale probe will expose PM Modi, Anil Ambani: Rahul Gandhi

ANI | Updated: Nov 14, 2018 22:09 IST

Bhilai (Chhattisgarh) [India], Nov 14 (ANI): Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday claimed that the complicity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chairman of Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group Anil Ambani in Rafale deal would prove if the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) conducts a probe into the fighter jet deal.
Addressing an election rally for the second phase of Chhattisgarh assembly polls, Rahul alleged that Prime Minister Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre was procuring each Rafale aircraft at a cost of over Rs 1,670 crore as against Rs 526 crore finalized by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.
Gandhi has repeatedly accused the NDA government of ousting HAL as Rafale's offset partner and choosing Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence Limited to save the company's debt-ridden chairperson and his business.
"CBI Director Alok Verma started an investigation into the Rafale deal. The Prime Minister removed him at 2 am. The day the investigation of Rafael deal begins, two names will be revealed--Anil Ambani and Narendra Modi," Rahul said. "The truth will come out eventually and the country will know that PM Modi gifted Ambani Rs 30,000 crore," he added.
Rahul's statement comes at a time when the Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its verdict after hearing the petitions seeking a court-monitored investigation into the Rafale deal. The three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice SK Kaul and KM Joseph of the apex court heard petitioners and the government lawyers in this case.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, who is one of the petitioners, argued that there are various anomalies in the deal. Bhushan submitted to the court that the government's argument of Secrecy Clause in the Rafale deal is a "bogus" one.
Defending the government, Attorney General of India, KK Venugopal, said: "There is no sovereign guarantee from the French government on the delivery of 36 Rafale jets but there is a Letter of Comfort from the French Prime Minister." Venugopal added that the government had no role in selecting offset partners for Dassault in the Rafale deal and the selection of Reliance as an offset partner was a commercial decision taken by Dassault Aviation.
Making his submissions in the case, Attorney General Venugopal told the Supreme Court that secrecy was not on the price of aircraft but on weaponry and avionics. He also informed the court that he also has not seen the sealed cover and may not be able to assist on price.
After hearing the arguments of the counsels, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked Venugopal whether the earlier price of the Rafale deal was disclosed in the public domain upon to which the Venugopal denied saying it was not disclosed. CJI also asked AG if any officer from the Indian Air Force (IAF) was present in the court to answer the queries on the issue.
In response to this Air Vice-Marshal T Chalapathi appeared before the Supreme Court along with other senior officials-- Air Marshal VR Chaudhari and Deputy Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Anil Khosla. CJI Gogoi asked them about the recent induction in the country's air defense system and also the latest ones being manufactured in India.
Following the arguments of the Attorney General, CJI Gogoi said that any debate on the pricing of the Rafale deal comes only if this court decides that those aspects need to come in the public domain or not. (ANI)

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