File photo of Congress President Rahul Gandhi
File photo of Congress President Rahul Gandhi

Rahul labels PM Modi "India's commander in Thief"

ANI | Updated: Sep 24, 2018 18:20 IST

New Delhi [India] Sept 24 (ANI): Continuing his tirade against Prime Minister Narendra Modi over India-France Rafale jets deal, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday termed him as “India’s commander in Thief.”
The Congress chief shared a video on Twitter, captioned “The sad truth about India’s Commander in Thief.”
In the video, Edwy Plenel, the Editor of French publication, Mediapart, underscores that the key sentence of former French President François Hollande’s reply to their questions about the Reliance Group’s involvement was, “We did not have a choice.”
“We did not have a choice. We did not have a word to say about that subject. The Indian government suggested this service provider and Dassault negotiated with Ambani. We picked the interlocutor which was selected for us by the Indian government,” Plenel quoted Hollande as saying in the interview.
The video further goes on to say that the Indian government’s stance of not having a say in the commercial decision was contrary to the ex-French President’s statement.
“We just noticed it’s the contrary of the Indian government. The Indian government says it was the French part who organised the deal with Ambani, but the French part now says, 'no. Mr Ambani was in the deal by the Indian government.' He said, no conflict of interest with Ambani. Why? Because Ambani arrived in this deal and Reliance Group by the Indian government,” Plenel argued in the video.
“And that’s for you the scandal because you heard during all the last months that the Indian government said, “We had no ink, it was a private affair, what’s the Reliance Group?” Oh no, Mr Hollande says, “We did not have a choice.” Plenel added.
On September 21, former French President François Hollande in an interview to a media house said that Dassault Aviation was given no choice but to partner with Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence for the offset clause in the Rafale fighter jet deal.
However, a statement from Dassault aviation reiterated that Reliance Group was chosen in compliance with the Defence Procurement Procedure 2016 regulations, adding that contracts were signed with companies other than Reliance as well, as part of the offsets contract under the Rafale deal.
Regardless, the Congress has termed the deal as India's “biggest Defence scam,” and demanded the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) K.V. Chowdary to seize all documents and register an FIR into the alleged corruption.
The Congress also called on the government to reveal the details about the price of the aircraft, with the government refusing compliance, citing a secrecy clause of a 2008 pact between India and France. (ANI)