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Rahul Gandhi alleges treason by Narendra Modi

BJP rubbishes charge, says email shown by Rahul was about a chopper deal, not Rafale

By PTI in New Delhi

  • Published 12.02.19, 2:48 PM
  • Updated 12.02.19, 2:59 PM
Ambani had met the French defence minister days before the signing of the deal during Modi's visit to France in 2015, Rahul said.
Ambani had met the French defence minister days before the signing of the deal during Modi's visit to France in 2015, Rahul said. Shutterstock photo

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of acting as a middleman for Anil Ambani in the Rafale jet deal. He cited an email to claim that the businessman was aware of the MoU before India and France signed it.

Ambani's knowledge of a defence deal under preparation, which even the then defence minister had said he was not aware of, is in violation of the Official Secrets Act, Rahul alleged at a news conference, and said this "puts Modi in jail".

Only Modi could have told Ambani about the deal in advance, he alleged.

"This is treason. He (Modi) is doing what spies do," Rahul said.

Ambani had met the French defence minister days before the signing of the deal during Modi's visit to France in 2015, Rahul said, purportedly quoting from an email written by an Airbus executive to a French official.

The Congress president also rejected the Comptroller and Auditor General report on the Rafale deal, and dubbed it "Chowkidar Auditor General" report.

The BJP dismissed Rahul's allegations as shamelessness and irresponsibility. It said that the email the Congress chief had cited to criticise the Prime Minister referred to some chopper deal and not the purchase of the fighter aircraft.

Senior party leader and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also put Airbus, whose internal email was cited by the Congress president, in the dock, saying the European aircraft manufacturer is under the needle of suspicion in deals finalised during the previous Congress-led government.

He asked Rahul to answer how he got hold of the company's internal communication and accused him of acting as a "lobbyist" for foreign firms.

Soon after Rahul's news conference, Prasad said his party had serious differences with former Prime Ministers who came from the Gandhi family over several "murky" defence deals signed during their terms but never accused them of treason.

"He (Rahul Gandhi) has thrown muck on his own face by abusing our honest Prime Minister.... We will expose his lies before the public," he said.

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