Rahul Gandhi’s five failed Rafale allegations, from Modi-Ambani nexus to cheaper UPA deal

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First Published 4, Nov 2018, 5:52 PM IST
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Rahul Gandhi's five failed Rafale allegations, from Modi-Ambani nexus to cheaper UPA deal
Highlights

The most important point in the entire issue is that facts don’t matter much to the Congress as by the time the BJP clears the picture, Rahul Gandhi uses a new angle of the Rafale deal to target PM Modi 

New Delhi: It seems that Congress president Rahul Gandhi uses every anti-government report on the Rafale deal to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi and apparently, he does this without even verifying the facts. 

MyNation takes a look at the recent allegations on the issue that have been made by the Congress president and how they have been debunked by the agencies concerned. However, the most important point in the entire issue is that facts don’t matter much to the Congress as by the time the BJP clears the picture, Rahul uses a new angle of the deal to target the prime minister.

Charge 1: Dassault Aviation bribed Reliance by investing Rs 284 crore to buy land for its Nagpur plant

Facts: The latest allegation was based on inputs from a rabidly anti-Modi website in which it was claimed that Rs 284 crore were paid by Dassault Aviation to Anil Ambani’s Reliance to bag the Rs 59,000-crore contract.

The investments were made by Dassault Aviation in Reliance Airports Developers Limited (RADL) and the French company even has plans of taking over the company in the future. The investment has also been shown in the annual balance sheet of Dassault, but despite that, the Congress president used the website report to say that Dassault had paid money to bag the deal from the Modi government.

Also read— Rafale deal: Supreme Court asks Centre to give pricing and strategic details of aircraft in a sealed cover in 10 days

Charge 2: Cost of UPA-negotiated Rafales was less than NDA Rafales

This was the allegation that the Congress started with while trying to find 'evidence' of corruption in the Rafale contract. However, the fact is that there was no deal finalised during the UPA regime. There were just talks which never materialised into anything significant as the then defence minister AK Antony decided to revisit all the issues in the deal to apparently save himself from a prospective scam.

However, even after comparing the 18 flyaway jets that the UPA was negotiating for with the 36 Rafales that Modi has procured, the price difference comes out to Rs 59 crore per aircraft in favour of the 2016 deal. The Congress contract for 126 aircraft would easily have cost India more than Rs 2 lakh crore if all variables were taken into account.

Charge 3: Procedures not followed in acquisition of 36 Rafale planes

The Congress has been alleging that the prime minister did not follow procedures like getting clearances from the cabinet committee on security (CCS) or defence ministry in finalising the contract, but the fact is that the approval of the CCS was accorded in time before the signing of the deal in September 2016. The defence ministry under Manohar Parrikar had even managed to get heavy discounts from the French during the negotiations.

Also read— Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Rafale deal: Opposition is moving from one milepost to another

Charge 4: Reliance given Rs 30,000 crore worth offsets contract

Rahul has been claiming that PM Narendra Modi forced Dassault to give offsets contracts worth Rs 30,000 crore to Relaince as he had to favour Anil Ambani. However, the Air Force itself had debunked these claims and Kargil War hero and the then deputy chief of air staff Air Marshal R Nambiar stated that there were more than 100 companies doing offsets in the Rafale deal and Reliance was one of those expected to get offsets contract worth not more than Rs 6,000 crore.

Charge 5: Francois Hollande said India imposed Reliance on France as offsets partner

A French website quoted former French president Francois Hollande as saying that India had imposed Reliance Defence as offsets partner on them and the report was immediately used to attack the Modi government. However, both the French government and Dasault Aviation debunked the allegations immediately, saying there was no such pressure on them. A few days later, Hollande himself contradicted the statement attributed to him by the website.

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