Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday launched a fresh salvo against the Bharatiya Janata Party government over the Rafale deal, alleging that Anil Ambani owned Reliance Defence got kickbacks from Dassault. He claimed that the Dassault CEO Eric Trappier was lying to protect Narendra Modi.
Trappier, in an exclusive interview to CNBC-TV18 on 25 October, had said that Dassault picked Reliance over Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) as its partner because the Anil Ambani-led company had land near an airfield on the outskirts of Nagpur, where they could set up a production facility. He added that Dassault had been in discussions with both Reliance Defence and HAL, and that HAL was aware of its discussions with Reliance.
Rahul, while addressing the media on Friday, claimed that Dassault invested Rs 284 Crore in the company of Anil Ambani and the latter bought land with the same money. "Dassault invested Rs 284 Crore in the company of Anil Ambani. Anil Ambani bought land with the same money. This is clear that Dassault CEO is lying. Why did they invest Rs 284 crore in a loss-making company?" asked Rahul.
Rahul said that Modi was the only one to blame, stating that it is obvious he was the one to make the decisions. He stated that if an inquiry is started on Modi's involvement, the prime minister would not survive the inquiry. "If an inquiry starts on this Modi is not going to survive it. Guaranteed. One, because of corruption. Two, because it's very clear who the decision maker was...It was Narendra Modi and it was a deal done by Narendra Modi to give Anil Ambani Rs 30,000 crore," said Rahul.
The Congress president also pointed out that before the deal, permission was not taken from the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).
Rahul further alleged that the CBI chief Alok Verma was removed because he wanted to look into the "open and shut" case. "Rafale is an open and shut case. CBI Director was removed because obviously, CBI was looking into these matters. Defence Minister flies to France and Dassault speaks in favour of Anil Ambani," he said.
On 24 October, former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie and activist lawyer Prashant Bhushanmoved the Supreme Court, seeking registration of an FIR into the Rafale deal between India and France, alleging "criminal misconduct" by top public functionaries.
Updated Date: Nov 02, 2018 16:24 PM