NEW DELHI: Upping ante against PM Narendra Modi, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Friday alleged that Rafale jet maker Dassault of France paid first instalment of Rs 284 as bribe to Indian offset partner Reliance.
The Congress has been alleging that PM Modi cancelled the UPA's deal for 126 aircraft at Rs 526 crore per piece, signed a new deal buying 36 aircraft at three times the price of Rs 1670 crore per piece and bypassed public sector HAL to let private sector Reliance get offset contract worth Rs 30,000 crore.
"The Dassault CEO had said that the reason HAL was not given a contract and Anil Ambani was given was because Ambani had land. Now it turns out that the land that Ambani had was purchased for him with money that he got from Dassault and for some the reason which is hard to understand. Dassault gave Rs. 284 crore to a loss-making company with a valuation of Rs. 8 lakh, 30 thousand, loss-making company and so this is one of the many tranches of money that Dassault has paid in kickback," Rahul said.
"This is the first installment of kickback that has been given to Anil Ambani by Dassault and this is clear as day," he said.
The Congress chief accused that Dassault CEO was lying and was trying to protect PM Modi."First, HAL has more land, that is available here. Second, the land that Ambani was supposedly having was bought with the money Dassault gave them. Number one, why is the Dassault CEO lying? Who is he protecting? There is only one person Dassault CEO is protecting and that is the person who runs this country, that is Narendra Modi," said Rahul.
The Congress chief alleged that the centre was trying to cover up corruption in the Rafale deal and reiterated that CBI chief Alok Verma was removed as he was about to start a probe.
"Obviously CBI chief was looking at these papers. It is obvious that there is enough material in the public domain to nail PM Modi. So, clearly it is a cover up taking place. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman flies to France. After that Dassault CEO said contract was given to Reliance because it had land . But now the truth has come out," said Rahul.
The Congress chief slammed the centre for hiding price details of the Rafale deal citing secrecy clause."The government says pricing is top secret. But the Dassault Annual Report has the pricing in it. It's there in black and white and it shows exactly how much the government paid. I met French President Emanuel Macron and he said price is not in the secret pact," said Rahul.
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