Over the Rafale deal, once again Congress president Rahul Gandhi attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday alleging that it renegotiated the contract to benefit “crony capitalists”.
Gandhi, in a Facebook post, said, "Since 2014, instead of taking to closure deals that had been negotiated by the UPA Government, the present government has focussed on renegotiating those deals to benefit crony capitalists.”
"For instance, the UPA’s Rafale deal for 126 aircraft would have transformed the Indian Airforce allowing us to scrap and replace ancient aircraft like the Jaguar. It involved the transfer of technology to HAL which would have helped make us become more self-reliant in the future. Instead, the deal was re-worked for Anil Ambani’s benefit and reduced to just 36 aircraft - all made in France. These aircraft will take years to arrive in India," he added.
“And so, our pilots are forced to put their lives at risk each day, flying ancient Jaguars, that are kept in the air, using parts scrounged from junk yards in France and other parts of the world. Not only is this shameful, it reduces India’s prestige globally and puts the lives of our pilots at risk,” post further read.
"Thanks to the PM’s massive corruption, the best pilots in the world now have unlimited access to French junkyards for Jaguar spare parts, rather than new, Indian made planes," he later tweeted.
Alleging corruption and favouritism, Gandhi and his party have been attacking the government over the Rafale deal. Interestingly, the BJP has accused him of spreading lies on the issue.
In connection with the deal, Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group has denied the Congress' allegations.