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Rafale deal: French government denies involvement in India’s choice of partner after Ex-president’s statement

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Air Marshal Nambiar

New Delhi | The government of France on Friday denied any kind of involvement in the choice of Indian industrial partners for the controversial Rafale deal.

The response has come after media reports emerged quoting former French President Francois Hollande that Indian government had proposed Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence as the India partner in the Rafale fighter jet deal and not given them a choice. Denying the claim, the French government said  French companies have the full freedom to select Indian firms for the contract and its role was limited to just ensuring the delivery and quality of the warplanes.

The French government said,”In accordance with India’s acquisition procedure, French companies have the full freedom to choose the Indian partner companies that they consider to be the most relevant, then present for the Indian government’s approval the offsets projects that they wish to execute in India with these local partners so as to fulfil their obligations in this regard.”

Meanwhile, Dassault Aviation, the company which produces the Rafale Fighter Jet has also issued a statement after the rising controversy over the deal. It said, “This offsets contract is delivered in compliance with the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2016 regulations. In this framework, and in accordance with the policy of Make in India, Dassault Aviation has decided to make a partnership with India’s Reliance Group. This is Dassault Aviation’s choice.”

The opposition parties especially Congress have cornered the NDA government over the Rafael Deal stating irregularities in the Indo-France deal.  Congress alleged that the UPA government while negotiating the procurement of the Rafale Jets had finalised the amount at Rs 526 crores while the current NDA government is procuring the aircraft at Rs 1,670 crores per aircraft.

 

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Akhilesh slams Yogi government over proposed move to rename Allahabad as ‘Prayagraj’

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Yadav

Lucknow | Samajwadi Party supremo Akhilesh Yadav on Monday attacked the Yogi Adityanath government’s proposed move to rename Allahabad as Prayagraj, stating that the present dispensation wanted to show their work only by “renaming”.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during his visit to Allahabad on Saturday had announced that there was a proposal to rename the city as Prayagraj ahead of the 2019 Kumbh Mela.

In a Twitter post on Monday, Yadav said today’s rulers were trying to show that they are working by just changing the name of Allahabad.

“… They have even re-named Ardh Kumbh to Kumbh. This is toying with tradition and belief,” the former UP CM tweeted.

However, reacting to Yadav, Energy Minister and government spokesperson Shrikant Sharma claimed that the belief of people were hurt when the city was named Allahabad.

“Some persons are objecting to renaming Allahabad as Prayagraj. The objections are baseless. It is the right of the government to rename any city. If needed, we will rename more cities and roads. The mistakes done earlier will be rectified,” he said.

UP Governor Ram Naik had already supported the demands of the saints and the people of the Sangam city, he had said.

“The government will soon send a proposal to the Centre to change the name of the city,” the CM had said.

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I am not a Congress spokesperson: Shashi Tharoor clarifies on ‘Ram Temple-Hindu’ remark

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Shashi Tharoor

New Delhi | Congress leader and Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor on Monday gave his clarification about his earlier statement on the Construction of Ram Temple on the disputed land in Ayodhya.

“I condemn the malicious distortion of my words by some media in the service of political masters. I said: “most Hindus would want a temple at what they believe to be Ram’s birthplace. But no good Hindu would want it to be built by destroying another’s place of worship,” tweeted Tharoor.

Tharoor further stated that he was asked about his personal opinion on the matter in the festival and it does not reflect the view of his party. He wrote,”I was asked for my personal opinion at a literary festival & gave it as such. I am not a Spokesperson for my party & did not claim to be speaking for @incindia.”

Earlier on Sunday while speaking at the ‘The Hindu Lit for Life Dialogue 2018’ in Chennai  Tharoor said, “A vast majority of Hindus believes that Ayodhya was the birthplace of Lord Ram, no good Hindu would want to see a Ram temple built “by demolishing somebody else’s place of worship.”

Various BJP leaders criticised the Tharoor’s statement. Union HRD minister Prakash Javdekar while responding to Tharoor’s remarks said,” Astonished that Shashi Tharoor believes that true Hindus don’t want a Ram Temple in Ayodhya. This could be a view of Tharoor or Rahul Gandhi, not of ppl. This shows how cutoff they are from reality and how they only become Hindu during elections.”

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Rahul Gandhi targeting Hindus to appease ‘Pakistan’, says Rajasthan Minister

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Rahul Gandhi

Jaipur | Rajasthan Minister Jaswant Singh Yadav on Monday attacking Congress President Rahul Gandhi alleged that the Congress president has called Hindus terrorist.

Addressing a public rally in Rajasthan’s Alwar constituency, Yadav said, “He (Rahul Gandhi) says Hindus are terrorists. What will such a man do by becoming the Prime Minister? He tells people of India that Hindus are terrorists. What does it mean? If you want to please Pakistan why are you insulting us?”

Responding to the ongoing Indo-France Rafale deal controversy where the opposition has cornered the Union government of an alleged scam in the deal, Yadav called Rahul Gandhi ‘disturbed’ as Pakistan had acquired the fighter Rafale jets. He said,” There was Rafale deal. These are fighter planes which are acquired after great difficulty. Pakistan did not acquire it. Rahul Gandhi is disturbed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji and not Pakistan received it.”


Yadav’s comment has come weeks before the upcoming assembly elections in Rajasthan. Assembly election will be conducted in the state of Rajasthan on 7 December while the results will be announced on 11 December.

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