Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over an alleged scam in the Rafale fighter aircraft deal with France. Issuing a "Modi Scam Alert!" Gandhi tweeted: "$15 billion fighter jet deal re-tendered. Prime Minister's friend's race to tie up strategic partners. "RAFALE, (Rs) 40,000 crore loss to the exchequer was "Sayonara" (bye bye in Japenese) money to French, so Prime Minister could re-tender contract and favour friends." Gandhi's comment came in the wake of a news report which stated that India was looking to buy more than 100 new fighter jets which were eventually expected to cost upwards of Rs 100,000 crore or about $15 billion.
1.Govt begins the process to procure 110 fighter jets for IAF for $9-13 bn: The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Friday initiated the procurement of 110 fighter aircraft for its depleted combat force — now languishing at 31 fighter squadrons against the desired strength of 42. When in service, these fighters will fill six squadrons. The order would be worth between $9-13 billion (Rs 584-844 billion) making it the world’s biggest international fighter buy. Single engine fighters would cost about $80-85 million each, while twin-engine fighters would cost closer to $120 million apiece.
2. Rahul says Dassault called govt's 'lie' by releasing price of Rafale deal: Earlier in March, Rahul alleged that Dassault Aviation, the French company that manufactured the fighter jets, had called the "lie" of "RM" (Raksha Mantri or Defence Minister) Nirmala Sitharaman by releasing the price of the aircraft. "Dassault called RM's lie and released prices paid per RAFALE plane in report: Qatar = 1319 Cr (13.19 billion), MODI = 1670 Cr (16.7 billion), MMS = 570 Cr (5.7 billion)
"1100 Cr (11 billion) per plane or 36,000 Cr (360 billion) i.e 10 pc of our Defence budget, in the pocket. Meanwhile, our Army begs our Govt. for money (sic)," the Congress leader said on Twitter.
3. Rafale deal negotiated under UPA much cheaper, says Congress: The Congress has been demanding details of the deal, alleging that the deal negotiated under its rule was much cheaper than the contract signed by the Modi government. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the price of the jets cannot be revealed in the interest of national security.
4. Rahul adopting 'big lie technique': The BJP accused Congress president Rahul Gandhi of adopting "big lie technique" in his attack on the government over the Rafale fighter jet deal. BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said Gandhi was drawing a leaf from Hitler's propaganda driven by the "big lie technique" that a lie repeated a thousand times would be taken as truth with time.
"By his "reckless" action, Gandhi and his party were endangering national security and were quoting instances selectively where such details had been revealed," he said.
5. Jaitley slams Rahul over Rafale deal allegations: UPA's new strategy is to manufacture corruption charges, he said.
Arun Jaitley said, "Secrecy is an inherent part of any deal. They're compromising national security by asking for details which should not be made public, by which I mean known to the enemy."
6. Modi govt can share Rafale deal details with Opposition, says France's Macron: Ahead of his India visit in March, French President Emmanuel Macron told India Today, French government would have no objection if the Modi government wanted to share some details, covered under the secrecy clause, with the Opposition parties to clear confusion and resolve political stalemate.
7. Rahul in poll-bound Karnataka: Congress President Rahul Gandhi is touring in Bengaluru division and campaigning ahead of the May 12 Assembly polls in Karnataka. Gandhi will tour in Kolar, Chikkaballapura and Bengaluru as part of his sixth leg of poll campaign in the state, party sources said. The Congress president began his tour by visiting Kudumalai Ganesha temple at Mulabagilu and will later take part in a road show. He is also scheduled to address corner meeting and public meeting at Kolar and Chikkaballapura respectively.
8. Rahul slams Modi on rising fuel prices: Last month Rahul attacked Modi over rising petrol and diesel prices, saying the poor and the middle class was bearing the brunt. Referring, in a tweet to Modi's old speech in which he is asking people if prices of petroleum products had come down and if they were able to save money, Gandhi said Modi appeared to be talking of a foreign country. "The poor and the middle class bear the brunt of rising fuel prices. In this video, our PM is quite obviously talking about some other country," he tweeted along with the video of Modi which dubbed him as "the king of misinformation".
9. Rahul Gandhi's Karnataka tours: Unlike Modi and Amit Shah of the BJP, he mostly travels by a special bus and easily mingles with the people. He took a bus ride from Bellary to Gulbarga, covering a distance of over 400 km and holding public and corner meetings at several places. According to Karnataka state Congress working president Dinesh Gundurao, he has already covered almost 2000 km and is full of energy. “He is a bundle of endless energy. He inspires both party leaders and workers. He leads us from the front. Wherever Rahul Gandhi campaigned in the last two months, we have got a very good response,” he said. Rahul Gandhi has already travelled through 26 districts in the state and will be touring two more districts on Sunday.
10. Ideology that Modi belongs to can’t respect Dalits, says Rahul Gandhi: Rahul said that RSS ideology can never respect Dalits even as the opposition party announced it will hold nationwide fast on April 9 for “peace and social harmony”.
In a reply to PM Modi’s tweet that “no government had honoured Ambedkar like his”, Rahul posted a collage of allegedly vandalised statues of Ambedkar in BJP-ruled states and Tamil Nadu. The pictures were accompanied by a sarcastic jibe: “Modi ji, the oppressive ideology you belong to can never respect Dalits and Babasaheb. (here are) Some examples of RSS/BJP ideology respecting Babasaheb.” It came a day after BJP chief Amit Shah tagged a video showing Rahul Gandhi speaking on SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act to accuse the latter of inciting social hatred.