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Is Modi a PM or business development manager of Ambani, Adani: Sidhu



The Congress on Saturday fired a fresh salvo at the BJP, accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of favouring private firms over government companies in giving defence contracts.

"The government is favouring private entities over the government firms. The private companies are minting millions. The Prime Minister had coined a slogan, 'Na Khaunga, Naa Khilaunga' which has fallen apart," Congress leader and Punjab Cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu told reporters here.

Taking a jibe at Prime Minister Modi's 'Mein Bhi Chowkidar' (I too am a watchman) campaign, Sidhu claimed that the 'Chowkidar' is found outside rich houses where the poor are prohibited.

Reading out a media report, Sidhu alleged that Modi travelled to 55 countries with businessmen Anil Ambani and Gautam Adani, where 18 agreements on defence projects were signed.

"In 2015, Modi went to Russia with Ambani. Reliance defence, which has a debt of Rs 7,500 crore, signed the deal for an air-defence system with Russia worth USD 6 billion," he said.

Raking up the Rafale deal issue, Sidhu accused Modi of favouring Reliance Defence as the offset partner.

"PM Modi went to France where he made Ambani's company an offset partner. The deal was worth Rs 30,000 crore. For 18 flyaway aircraft, technology was to be transferred and the aircraft was to be manufactured in India, which would have given a fillip to employment in our country."

"But, an agreement was signed to purchase 36 Rafale jets. Modi has not been able to answer why he did this," the cricketer-turned-politician said.

"Ambani's company has a tax debt of Rs 11,000 crore. But French authorities gave Rs 56,000 crore as a one-time settlement. This thing happened when Rafale negotiations were going on," Sidhu claimed.

Continuing to attack the BJP, Sidhu said that Adani group signed a similar agreement with Israel for developing an unmanned aircraft system while adding, "the Ambani group signed to develop air-to-air missiles for IAF for Rs 65,000 crore. Why didn't the DRDO get the contract instead."

He alleged that Prime Minister Modi, who called himself as a patriot, was killing off government firms and allowing private companies to loot funds from the state exchequer.

"The looted money from state exchequer is going into the pockets of these capitalists. I want to ask the Prime Minister. Is he a Prime Minister or a business development manager for Adani and Ambani," Sidhu said.

He alleged that state-run firms like BHEL, BSNL and NTPC were reporting losses, while Reliance had posted Rs 10,000 crore in a quarter.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Sat, April 20 2019. 15:27 IST