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Guj: Cong to launch agitation against Modi govt's Rafale deal

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Press Trust of India Vadodara
The Congress will launch an agitation in Gujarat against what the party claimed were scams in the Centre's purchase of the French-built Rafale fighter aircraft and the state government's procurement of groundnuts, the party's Gujarat in charge Rajeev Satav said today.
The Congress' Lok Sabha MP from Hingoli in Maharashtra said that the agitation, which would begin in September, would demand the setting up of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe the Rafale purchase as well as inquiry by a sitting Supreme Court judge into the groundnut procurement.
He said that party leaders would address press conferences across Gujarat till September 6 to apprise people of the irregularities in the Rafale deal.
"We will be demanding the setting up of a JPC in the Rs 41,025 crore Rafale deal and judicial probe by a Supreme Court judge in the Rs 4,000 crore groundnut procurement scam." Satav said.
"The district-level agitation will be held between September 7-15 while the state-level protest will be carried out between September 16-30," he said.
Satav claimed that the Rs 4,000 crore groundnut procurement scam has links to the "higher-ups" in the BJP who were trying to bury it.
The Congress had, earlier, alleged that several BJP leaders as well as some NAFED and GUJCOT officials were involved in the groundnut procurement scam.
The party had alleged that these leaders and officials stole the procured groundnut and sold it to oil millers and then mixed stocks with sand and pebbles.
The Congress would make the Rafale deal a poll issue and attack the Narendra Modi over its claim of corruption-free governance, he said.
Satav quoted a report by Dassault Aviation, the French firm that makes the Rafale fighter jets, and claimed that Qatar and Egypt purchased these aircraft at Rs 1,319 crore while India has inked a deal that places the cost of each aircraft at Rs 1,600 crore.
"The price is three times what was negotiated by the Congress-led UPA government. The Rafale scam is a sordid saga of squandering our national interests and promoting crony capitalism," Satav said.
He also dared BJP national president Amit Shah, currently a Rajya Sabha MP, to get elected from a Lok Sabha constituency.
Gujarat Congress chief Amit Chavda, who was present at the briefing, said that party workers were geared up for the statewide agitation.

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First Published: Aug 30 2018 | 6:10 PM IST

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