Rahul Gandhi’s Rafale allegations against Modi govt are nowhere close to facts

First Published 11, Oct 2018, 2:25 PM IST
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Highlights

Congress president Rahul Gandhi today sought to use a fake news item to launch attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Rafale aircraft deal and levelled several allegations to make his point. MyNation takes a point-by-point look at the allegations made by him

Congress president Rahul Gandhi today sought to use a fake news item to launch attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Rafale aircraft deal and levelled several allegations to make his point. MyNation takes a point-by-point look at the allegations made by him. This explainer will tell you how his claims don’t match with the facts of the case.

1. Gandhi’s claim: “Earlier. former French President (François Hollande) revealed that the Indian PM had told them that Reliance should get a deal. Now a senior official of Rafale has said the same. It is a clear-cut case of corruption.”

Fact: Both the French government and Hollande himself have denied this charge. Interestingly, both the reports on the issue have been filed by the French website Mediapart and have been denied by both the French government and Dassault. Despite the denials, the French publication has not issued any video or audio version of the interview to support its case against the rejoinders.

2. Rahul Gandhi's claims on the denial of alleged statement of Dassault deputy CEO, saying that his firm was forced to choose Reliance as a partner: “Dassault is sitting on a huge contract. Dassault will say what the Indian government wants it to say. Their internal document clearly stated that PM had said without this compensation the deal will not be done.”

Fact: As soon as the French report was published on October 10, the French aircraft maker Dassault Aviation issued a denial of  Mediapart's story. The Congress is relying on the English translation of the statement given by the Dassault Deputy CEO in French which leaves some scope for interpretation. The Dassault deputy CEO spoke about how forming the joint venture company was required to fulfil the obligation of offsets, but the comment was twisted to say that forming a joint venture with Ambani was mandatory to fulfil the offsets obligations. 

3. Gandhi’s claims on Rafale deal procedure asked for by the Supreme Court: Gandhi had tweeted that the government was trying to establish processes to justify Prime Minister Modi's decision to buy the aircraft. In his press conference today, Gandhi mentioned that the Supreme Court had asked for the details of the Rafale decision-making process and that the government was trying to cover it up. He has also been saying that the government did not follow due procedure and did not take the CCS approval before announcing the deal.

Fact: The Supreme Court has asked for the procedure followed by the government in deciding the Rafale deal. As far as the procedures are concerned, the Prime Minister was not required to take approval from any panel or committee to announce the intent for doing the deal. After announcing the deal, the clearances from Defence Ministry, Defence Finance Wing and the Cabinet Committee on Security were taken at all appropriate stages.

4. Rahul Gandhi’s charge: The #GreatRafaleCoverUp has begun. To try and show the deal is legit, Raksha Mantri will need to generate minutes of imaginary meetings held between the French & our MOD & both sides will need to agree on a common story to be spun to the media. RM left for France last night.

Fact: The allegations are again wrong that the Defence Minister is visiting France for covering up the controversy. The defence spokesperson tweeted to say that the visit was scheduled as part of an agreement between the two countries signed in March this year and this is the first annual defence dialogue between the two nations.

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