Collusion between PM Modi and Anil Ambani in Rafale deal: Congress


Ahmedabad | Stepping up its attack on the government, the Congress on Tuesday alleged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Reliance Group Chairman Anil Ambani “acted in collusion” over the Rafale jet contract.

Speaking to reporters here, Congress leader Jaipal Reddy said the government was paying Rs 41,205 crore more for the Rafale deal with about Rs 1,100 crore being paid extra for each aircraft compared to the price decided by the UPA government.

While the government, as well as Ambani-led Reliance Group, have denied the allegations levelled by the Congress over the Rafale deal, the main opposition party has decided to hold a series of conferences till September 6 across the country to highlight what it calls a “scam” in purchase of Rafale fighter jets from French company Dassault.

Reddy’s press conference was organised as part of this campaign, under which the Congress also plans to hold district and state-wide agitations starting September 7, as also dharnas and protests in all state headquarters from September 16-30.

Facing allegations of undue benefits from the multi-billion dollar Rafale deal, Reliance Group has already sent legal notices to several Congress leaders asking them to “cease and desist” from levelling such charges, which was promptly dubbed by the party as evidence of a “nexus between the BJP and the corporate world”.

Addressing the conference here, Reddy said, “I level this responsible charge that Prime Minister Modi and Mr Anil Ambani were in collusion (over the Rafale deal)…This deal could not have been possible had the Indian private company, the prime minister and the French private company not been in collusion.”

The former union minister said Ambani appeared to be a “genius” by “guessing the working of the prime minister’s mind” when even the Foreign Secretary and the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had no knowledge about the deal.

“Mr Anil Ambani knew just 12 days before the deal that this would be signed between Dassault Aviation company and the Government of India… and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) would not be in the picture (and) there would be no transfer of technology.

“He (Ambani) registered the company 12 days before the deal. So if somebody has guessed the working of the prime minister’s mind so correctly, he should be considered genius,” Reddy said.

Reddy also questioned the government’s stand that the rise in price was due to additional accessories, equipment and missiles, claiming that the prime minister had on April 10, 2015, said the configuration would be the same as before.

“Configuration means, in defence language, the same aircraft, same accessories, same equipment. Now, where is the question of new accessories?” Reddy asked.

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