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BJP alleges that Rahul Gandhi being used as ‘pawn’ by rival firms, as Congress renews calls for inquiry on Rafale deal

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has claimed that Rahul Gandhi is being used as a pawn by rival defense companies and that Congress has been raising allegations of corruption in the Rafale deal to weaken India. According to BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra, the appointment of a French court to oversee an inquiry into alleged corruption and favoritism in the Rs 59,000-crore, deal was the result of a complaint by an NGO, and not corruption. He compared this to a competent authority in India noting in a file, ‘please act accordingly’, when a matter is brought before him. The Congress has become synonymous with spreading lies and misconceptions, Patra said.

‘According to the way Rahul Gandhi is acting, it will not be an exaggeration to say he is being used as a pawn by competing companies. On this issue, he has been lying since the beginning. He is probably acting as an agent for a competing company,’ Patra alleged. As the Gandhi family had not received any commission in the Rafale deal, the party has leveled these accusations.

The Congress on Saturday sought a Joint Parliamentary Committee investigation into the 2016 Rafale fighter jet sale deal, saying it is the only way forward to find the truth about ‘corruption’ in the purchase of the fighter jets. The Rafale deal has been the focus of  Congress’ inquiry into ‘corruption’ in the purchase of the fighter jets, which they say is the only way to find the truth about it. After an investigation by the French website, Mediapart alleged that the Rafale fighter jet deal with India involved ‘corruption and favouritism,’ the Congress demanded to hold an impartial investigation.

Despite a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and a ruling by the Supreme Court (SC), Patra said there was nothing illegal about the defense agreement between the Indian and French governments. He spoke about the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in which the BJP swept to a massive victory, with the Congress focusing its campaign against the Modi government on the alleged corruption in the Rafale deal.

In November 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that there cannot be a roving and fishing inquiry about the Rafale allegations, and Gandhi is going on another ‘fishing expedition’ with his party attacking the government, BJP spokesperson said. In December 2018, the SC rejected a petition seeking its January 2019 decision on the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft reviewed.

 

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Patra claims Rahul Gandhi is trying to weaken India. Additionally, he cited several allegations made by the Congress leader, including his statements attributed to former French president Francois Hollande and current French president Emmanuel Macron, to back his charge of corruption aimed at the Modi government, which both French leaders denied immediately.

Rahul Gandhi also had to give an apology to the Supreme Court for improperly claiming that the top court has admitted that ‘chowkidar chor hai’ (watchman is thief), a pet slogan of the Congress leader against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the run-up to the 2019 polls. Aside from that, he claimed that Congress is using the issue as a means of distracting attention from political instability hitting its governments in Punjab, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.

 

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