Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said his party would not make any false promises to people and continued to criticise the Centre regarding alleged irregularities in the Rafale deal, PTI reported.
“PM and CM’s duty is to listen to the needs of the people,” Gandhi said at a public meeting in Rajasthan’s Bikaner. “We will not make false promises. Any promise made by us will be delivered.”
The Congress president, who concluded his two-day tour of the poll-bound state on Wednesday, said his party and its leaders would not make promises like how the BJP had assured people it would deposit Rs 15 lakh in their bank accounts and generate two crore jobs every year, reported PTI. “Our chief minister and leaders will not deliver hollow speeches and tell lies,” he added. Rajasthan goes to polls on December 7.
Gandhi also questioned Modi about the Rafale deal with France and repeated his allegation that Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence, which was awarded an offset contract with French company Dassault Aviation, benefited from the deal. The Congress president had levelled similar charges during his public meetings in the state’s Dholpur, Bharatpur and Dausa districts.
“Anil Ambani has a debt of Rs 45,000 crore and yet he was chosen for the Rafale deal,” Gandhi said. “Rs 526 crore per aircraft was hiked to [Rs] 1,600 crore per aircraft; this was done solely to benefit Anil Ambani.”
The Congress president said he had asked Modi in Parliament in May on why the price of the aircraft was increased, but the prime minister “could not meet my eyes”. He said Modi refused to answer his questions because he was “guilty of stealing from the public [and] giving it to Anil Ambani.” Gandhi had levelled a similar charge on September 28..
The Congress president said Hindustan Aeronautical Limited had been ignored. “PM Modi stole the Rafale deal from PSU HAL and gave it to Anil Ambani, who had accompanied PM Modi to France.”
Gandhi said when the Congress is elected to power in Rajasthan, the party will listen to the needs of everyone. “Our government will work for every single section of the society unlike the BJP government, which works only for a handful of industrialists,” he said. “Modi gives money to people like Lalit Modi, Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi but hasn’t given a single penny to small businesses of Bikaner.”
Gandhi also raised questions about Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s visit to France amid the allegations on the Rafale deal. “The Supreme Court has asked for the Rafale decision making process,” Gandhi tweeted. “It’s quite simple really... The PM decided.”
He said the process to justify Modi’s decision “are yet to be invented”. “But work has begun,” he added, pointing to Sitharaman’s trip to France.
Sitharaman is expected to hold talks with her French counterpart Florence Parly on strategic cooperation and to take stock of progress in the supply of the 36 Rafale jets by Dassault, PTI quoted unidentified officials as saying.
The Congress president has been on the offensive against the BJP-led government in the past few months regarding the Rafale defence deal. The party’s allegations were bolstered when former French President Francois Hollande claimed last month that the Indian government had proposed Reliance Defence’s name for the contract.