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Rafale deal: Rahul Gandhi dares PM Modi on open debate, says pact is loot; helped only rich

Rahul Gandhi alleged that under the old pact signed by UPA government, the aircraft was to be bought at Rs 526 crore each but under the new pact, Mr Modi had scaled it up to Rs 1600 crore per airplane

Published: 13th August 2018 03:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th August 2018 05:10 AM   |  A+A-

RahulGandhiPMModi

(L-R) Prime Minister Modi and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on the floor of the Parliament during the no-confidence motion debate against the NDA government on June 20, 2018. (Screengrabs | Lok Sabha TV)

Express News Service

BIDAR: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi for an open debate on the Rafale aircraft deal with France. “During the no-confidence motion debate in the Lok Sabha a few weeks ago, I dared the PM to look into my eyes if he is not telling lies on the Rafale deal. The PM spoke on many issues but did not mention this defence deal. That is why I am giving him an open challenge,” Rahul said while addressing the ‘Jana Dhwani’ programme here organised by the State Congress.

He said Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman lied to India that the government cannot reveal the price of Rafale jets as there is a secrecy clause between India and France.  “When I asked the French President if this as true, he denied it,” he said.

He further said the UPA government had given the Rafale deal to HAL. “We told France that we will use the technology and make jets in India. It would have created lakhs of jobs for aeronautical engineers. Modi came to power and changed the entire deal,” Rahul said.

Reminding Modi that he is the prime minister of India, not the prime minister of 10-15 Indian  industrialists, Rahul said while Modi waived debts worth Rs 2.5 lakh crore of 10-15  large business houses, he made the people of India stand in queues in the name of demonetisation.

Attacking Modi, Rahul said during the Lok Sabha election campaign he promised to create two crore jobs, but failed to create even half of the promised jobs. “Prime Minister Modi promised two crore jobs and now asks the youth to make pakodas. He also promised to provide gas connections, and now talks about using gas from the gutter,” he said.

He also slammed the Centre over farmers’ issues, farmer suicides and Bihar shelter home rape cases. On the issue of farm loan waiver, Rahul said the Congress had promised farm loan waiver and kept the promise. “I challenge Prime Minister Modi from this stage. The Karnataka government waived loans of farmers. I challenge you (Centre) to provide 50 per cent of the farm loan waiver amount. If you have a 56-inch chest, I dare you to do this. But you won’t do this,” Rahul said.

Bidar programme was a show of strength of the Congress in the Hyderabad-Karnataka region, in which over  50,000 people gathered. Rahul, as well as other party leaders, requested people throughout the programme to exercise their franchise in favour of the Congress in LS polls as it is the only party which is secular and pro-poor.

Rahul thanked the people of Hyderabad-Karnataka region, especially of Bidar district, for electing more number of Congress candidates in the recently held assembly elections in the state. Leader of the Congress party in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, AICC secretary K C Venugopal , KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao, KPCC working president Eshwar Khandre, former chief ministers Siddaramaiah and Veerappa Moily were present.



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