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PM Modi 'frontman for corporate friends': Congress on Rafale deal

The Congress, which has alleged corruption and favouritism in the Rafale contract and accused the prime minister for it, also dubbed the fighter jet deal "opaque and flawed"

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Rafale, Rafale jet

The Congress on Monday took objection to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman describing the opposition's questions on the as "corporate lobbying" and instead accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of acting as a "frontman for corporate friends".

The party's senior spokesperson Anand Sharma said Sitharaman, who spoke for the deal in the Lok Sabha, was reduced to being an "apologist defending the indefensible".

The Congress, which has alleged corruption and favouritism in the contract and accused the prime minister for it, also dubbed the fighter jet deal "opaque and flawed".

The government has denied the charges levelled by the Congress and said the deal is clean, without any corruption or middlemen.

Claims by the government and the that the is transparent and cut out middlemen are "laughable and ridiculous", Sharma said.

"The fact is it was opaque and flawed. surely no middlemen... good. But what when Pradhan Mantri ji acts as a frontman for corporate friends?

"Why has the PM not personally denied former French President Franois Hollande's statement? Any answers?" he asked on Twitter.

The opposition, he said, had raised fundamental questions on the Rafale jet acquisition.

"These include compromising security, hurting manufacturing and denial of technology to HAL and loss to exchequer.

"Defence Minister terming it as corporate lobbying is objectionable. Sad to see defence ministry misused to cover up and minister reduced to being an apologist defending the indefensible," Sharma tweeted.

First Published: Mon, January 21 2019. 16:15 IST
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