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Rahul Gandhi says Modi government reportedly targeted official who allegedly raised objections on Rafale deal

The Congress chief also alleged that the officer who raised questions over the deal was penalised, while those who sided with the government were rewarded.

Published: 27th September 2018 05:22 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th September 2018 07:13 PM   |  A+A-

Congress president Rahul Gandhi addresses a public meeting in Chitrakoot Thursday September 27 2018. | PTI

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Congress president Rahul Gandhi Thursday hit out at the Modi government for reportedly targeting a Defence Ministry official who allegedly raised "objections" over the price of the Rafale jets.

He took to Twitter to take a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a poem in Hindi alleging that he gave benefits to "crony capitalists" at the cost of state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in the Rafale deal.

Gandhi also alleged that the officer who raised questions over the deal was penalised, while those who sided with the government were rewarded.

He tagged a media report that alleged that the Defence Ministry official who raised objections over the price of the Rafale jets "proceeded" on a month's leave and the 36-Rafale deal was approved by the Defence Acquisition Council thereafter.

Citing the same media report, Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, in a Tweet, claimed that the Modi government "sent on leave the 'whistleblower'", who questioned the loss to the state exchequer "by paying 300% extra for 36 Rafale".

He also alleged that a senior officer, who overruled the official who raised questions over the Rafale jets pricing, was made a member of UPSC (Union Public Service Commission).

"Perks of pleasing Modi Govt cover corruption tracks," he claimed.

The Congress has been stepping up its attack on the government with the Rafale deal controversy taking a new turn last week after Francois Hollande, who was French president when the Rs 58,000 crore deal was announced, was quoted as saying by French publication Mediapart that France was given "no choice" in selection of the Indian partner for Dassault and the Indian government proposed the name of Reliance Defence as offset partner for the French aerospace giant.

Modi had announced the procurement of 36 Rafale fighters after holding talks with Hollande on April 10, 2015, in Paris.

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