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PMO directly involved in Rafale negotiations, PM guilty in scam: Rahul Gandhi

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The was directly involved in negotiations with the French on the Rafale deal and was guilty in the scam, said on Friday in a fresh attack on the government over the fighter jet agreement.

It is an open and shut case, Gandhi declared, citing a report in newspaper claiming the Defence ministry raised strong objections to "parallel discussions" conducted by the PMO during the negotiations over the Rs 59,000 crore Rafale deal between and

"I want to speak to every member of the armed forces of this nation... Here, it is absolutely clear that the has stolen Rs 30,000 crore of your money, bypassed a process, and given it to his friend Mr. Anil Ambani," Gandhi said at a press conference.

The government, as well as Ambani, have strongly denied any wrongdoing in the fighter jet agreement with

Gandhi aslo r ead out from a document, purportedly from the Defence ministry, published in the newspaper.

"Now, it is crystal clear that the ministry itself has said, and I will read it to you, 'It is therefore clear that the parallel discussions by the PMO has weakened the negotiation of the MOD and the Indian Negotiating Team. We may advise PMO that any officers who are not part of the Negotiation Team may refrain from having parallel parleys with the of the French government'," Gandhi said.

The also reiterated his demand for a joint parliamentary committee to probe the Rafale deal.

The government can use the law against everyone, including his and former Union P Chidambaram, but must answer questions on the Rafale deal, he said.

"Whatever inquiry you want to do, you do it. You implement the law. Robert Vadra, P Chidambaram - you implement the law on everyone. No problem. But you also give answers on the Rafale matter," he said.

He was responding to a question on the interrogating Vadra in a money laundering case and the government's sanction to prosecute Chidambaram in the case.

On Thursday, the also hit back at the over the Rafale

issue, alleging that the Congress did not want the to be strong.

Earlier in the day,Gandhi had dared Modi to a five minute face-to-face debate on issues such as the controversial jet deal and national security.

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

First Published: Fri, February 08 2019. 13:00 IST