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NDA’s re-negotiated Rafale deal has put pilots’ lives at risk: Rahul Gandhi

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New Delhi | Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday attacked the Modi government over the Rafale issue alleging that Indian pilots were at risk flying the “ancient” Jaguars due to the NDA renegotiating the Rafale aircraft deal that did not allow transfer of technology to the country.

In a Facebook post, Gandhi alleged the NDA renegotiated the UPA deal to benefit crony capitalists and reduced India’s prestige globally.

India could not get a transfer of technology as negotiated during the UPA rule and it was shameful that Indian pilots have to put their lives at risk flying the ancient Jaguar aircraft as the new technology did not come into the country, he said.

He cited a media report to allege that instead of getting 126 Rafale aircraft together with the transfer of technology that would have transformed the Indian Air Force, the NDA government renegotiated the deal to get only 36 aircraft made in France.

“Since 2014, instead of taking to closure deals that had been negotiated by the UPA Government, the present government has focussed on renegotiating those deals to benefit crony capitalists.

“For instance, the UPA’s Rafale deal for 126 aircraft would have transformed the Indian Airforce allowing us to scrap and replace ancient aircraft like the Jaguar.

“It involved the transfer of technology to HAL which would have helped make us become more self-reliant in the future. Instead, the deal was re-worked for Anil Ambani’s benefit and reduced to just 36 aircraft – all made in France. These aircraft will take years to arrive in India,” he claimed in his post.

Gandhi later tweeted, “Thanks to the PM’s massive corruption, the best pilots in the world now have unlimited access to French junkyards for Jaguar spare parts, rather than new, Indian made planes.”

Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group has denied the Congress’ allegations in connection with the deal.

Gandhi and his Congress party have been attacking the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale deal, alleging corruption and favouritism.

The Government has dismissed Rahul Gandhi’s allegations, while the BJP has accused him of spreading lies on the issue.

The Congress chief alleged that India’s pilots are forced to put their lives at risk each day, flying ancient Jaguars, that are kept in the air “using parts scrounged from junkyards in France and other parts of the world”.

“Not only is this shameful, it reduces India’s prestige globally and puts the lives of our pilots at risk,” he said.

He cited a media report claiming that “India is the only air force in the world still flying the Jaguar aircraft, and will now cannibalise’ retired aircraft for spare parts”.

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“Everybody is the face of opposition”: Mamata Banerjee

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When asked, “Who will be the face of Mahagathbandhan?”, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said, “Everybody will be the face of Mahagathbandhan.”

 

Howrah| “Everybody is the face of the opposition,” said West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. She was talking to the press here after a meeting with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.

Talking about the meeting of opposition leaders he said that as senior leaders, he & Mamata Banerjee have some responsibilities. “We’ve to save the nation & democracy, we have to protect institutions. You are watching from last many days,democracy is in danger. Institutions like CBI, ED, RBI & others are under pressure,” Naidu said.

Giving more insight about what transpired in the meeting, Banerjee said the two leaders discussed the future plan. “We can tell you one thing, we are all together to fight against the BJP govt to save the nation,” said Banerjee.

When asked, “Who will be the face of Mahagathbandhan?”, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said, “Everybody will be the face of Mahagathbandhan.”

 

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Protest outside Haryana Bhawan against Khattar’s remark on rape incidents

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Manohar Lal Khattar had said, “The incidents of rape have not increased… (Only) the concern (over such incidents) has increased.”

 

New Delhi, Nov 19 (PTI) A group of people Monday staged a protest outside the Haryana Bhawan here, demanding an apology from state Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar for his controversial remark on rape incidents.

According to a statement, activists of All India Democratic Women’s Association, All India Mahila Sanskritik Sangathan, Democratic Youth Federation of India and Students’ Federation of India staged the protest.

“We demand that either Khattar apologies to the women of India through the media or resign from the post immediately to save the honour of women of India,” it read.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had Sunday condemned Khattar’s controversial remark on rape incidents, and raised the issue of their security in that state.

At a function in Kalka town of Panchkula district on Friday, Khattar had said, “The incidents of rape have not increased… Rapes used to take place in the past and happen even today. (Only) the concern (over such incidents) has increased.

“The biggest concern is that in 80 to 90 per cent of rape and eve-teasing cases, the accused and the victim know each other. In many cases, they know each other for a long time and, on one day, when there is an argument… an FIR is lodged, saying: ‘He has raped me’,” Haryana CM had said.

However, Khattar had on Sunday said his statement had been twisted and that the issue should not be politicised.

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Congress is a party dedicated to one family: Smriti Irani

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“The Congress is a party dedicated to one family… how can it work for the development of the country or Amethi,” said Smriti Irani.

 

Amethi (UP), Nov 19 (PTI) Union Minister for Textiles Smriti Irani Monday attacked the Congress accusing it of being a party dedicated to one family and loath to work for the development of the country.

“The Congress is a party dedicated to one family… how can it work for the development of the country or Amethi,” said Irani after inaugurating and dedicating to the people various schemes worth Rs 77 crores in Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s parliamentary constituency.

In a dig at Gandhi’s initiative on a distribution of banana saplings among Amethi farmers, Irani said, “Rahul Gandhi criticises the RSS and Prime Minister Narendra Modi all over the country but he is treading the RSS path of planting banana trees.”

“I came to know that Rahul Gandhi is getting bananas seeds of foreign origin planted here, he could not get even banana plants in the country… he should know that poverty cannot be eradicated by planting a couple of banana saplings,” she stressed.

Reiterating her allegation that the Gandhi family has done nothing for Amethi, she said what they failed to do in 60 years, the BJP government managed to do in just over four years.

“Rahul has been an MP for the past 15 years and no ‘rozgar mela’ was organised… it was done during the Modi government’s tenure and over 7,500 unemployed youths are likely to get jobs due to it,” she said.

Maintaining that today’s programme has been organised to mark the fulfilment of the promises made by Prime Minister Modi in 2014, she said by 2022, every household in Amethi will have electricity and all the poor here will have their houses.

Speaking on the occasion, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said the state government will leave no stone unturned for development of Amethi.

He termed Rahul Gandhi as “dynastic” president of his party.

To a question on building Ram temple in Ayodhya, Maurya told reporters on the sidelines of the function that the temple will be built at the same place in Ayodhya but he evaded another question on the deadline of its construction.

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