Raipur/New Delhi: “The UPA government had prepared a contract for the purchase of 126 Rafale aircraft from France at the cost of around Rs 540 crore per aircraft but after coming to power Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited France and terminated the contract without informing the defence minister and the cabinet. Suddenly, the price of an aircraft surprisingly increased to Rs 1,600 crore from Rs 540 crore,” charged Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday after arriving in Chhattisgarh’s capital Raipur. He gave this speech while inaugurating the newly-constructed Rajiv Bhawan, addressing the gathering.

Gandhi added that according to the contract prepared by the UPA government, Bangalore-based public sector company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was to manufacture the aircraft, which in turn would have generated massive employment and also led to technology transfer, but Prime Minister Modi awarded the contract to his friend (without naming Mukesh Ambani). 

In his entire life, Ambani has neither made an aircraft nor worked in a defence contract, Gandhi said.

The company which was awarded the contract of the Rafale aircraft had been floated a few weeks back, alleged the Congress president. “I have pointed out all these facts in Parliament even in front of PM Modi. I have told PM Modi that the defence minister of India mentioned that the price of the Rafale aircraft cannot be made public according to the secret pact with France, but when the French president visited India I met him and he personally clarified that the Indian government can publicise the price of the aircraft, in which the government of France doesn’t have any objection. When I shared this fact in Parliament, PM couldn’t look me in the eye. Even the public might have noticed this on television. The 'watchman' had turned into a shareholder.”

Gandhi went on to allege that Modi had committed the biggest defence scam of the country.

MyNation and severalk other media houses have explained what a government-to-government contract means. MyNation even dug out confidential documents of the India-France deal that suggest that the price the Narendra Modi government finalised with France is Rs 59 crore per unit aircraft cheaper than the what it was under the now-scrapped deal struck by the UPA government.

“Few friends in media still report fearlessly in the tenure of the Modi government. A journalist of ABP showed the truth about the tribals and farmers’ double income. The reporter exposed that the income of the farmers didn’t double and the prime minister lied about the income of the farmers on television. The reporter who brought this truth in public has been removed from his job,” said Gandhi.

Gandhi pointed out that the Pakistan government had arrested former prime minister Nawaz Sharif after his name surfaced in the Panama Papers, but noted that in Chhattisgarh, the name of chief minister's son appeared in the Panama Papers and yet, no action was taken.  

The Congress president stated that the BJP's remote control is with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and that Chhattisgarh was, in fact, being run from Nagpur. 

“If a chief minister does not work for the youth, women and adivasis of Chhattisgarh, then that chief minister does not deserve to survive a single day. Congress party, unlike BJP, does not belong to capitalists, it belongs to everyone,” said Gandhi.

Continuing his tirade against the BJP, gandhi said that in BJP-ruled States, women are not safe and that atrocities against women have raised alarmingly in those States.

With inputs from Sandeep Pradhan