Congress trying to draw political mileage over Rafael issue with eye on polls: Rajnath Singh

The Home Minister also accused the Congress of trying to gain political mileage over the issue with an eye on the Lok Sabha elections next year.

Published: 24th September 2018 04:15 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th September 2018 12:20 AM   |  A+A-

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday accused Congress president Rahul Gandhi of trying to draw a political mileage from the Rafale aircraft deal in an election-packed year.

There was no room left for doubt in the deal which was completely transparent after the clarifications from former French president Francois Hollande, France and French aerospace giant Dassault Avaitions, he asserted.

A fresh controversy had broken out after Hollande said France was given "no choice" on selection of the Indian offset partner for Dassault Aviations and that India proposed the name of Reliance. On Friday, there were reports that when asked if India put pressure on Reliance and Dassault to work together, Hollande said he was unaware and "only Dassault can comment on this".

While the French government said it was in no manner involved in the choice of Indian partners, Dassault Aviation stated it had decided to make a partnership with the Reliance Defence in accordance with the 'Make in India' policy.

"The opposition is left with no issue, so it is raking up Rafale," Singh told the media on the sidelines of the meeting of the Central Zonal Council.

At an interaction with students earlier in Lucknow, the Union Home Minister sought to take a soft line on Congress chief saying the BJP differed with Rahul Gandhi only on the political issues. "There is no personal issue involved." Elaborating further, Rajnath said the BJP never took political and ideological issue to a personal level.

Over Rahul's increasing inclination towards religion and his repeated visits to temples, he said it should be ensured that politics was development oriented without any strain of discrimination.

However, the home minister was evasive to questions on Kashmir and Article 370 saying that one had to wait for sometime as some decisions were to be taken with utter sincerity only after deliberations. He asserted Kashmir was an integral part of the country and no one could snatch it from India.

Playing safe, Singh added diplomatically that the Kashmir issue would be resolved as the problem was not increasing any more. "However, terrorism in the Valley is being sponsored by Pakistan and our security agencies are working in close coordination to tackle it."

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