New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday over Rafale deal row. Demanding his resignation, he asserted that the PM is not suitable for his post. His attack came a day after former French president Francois Hollande claimed that Indian government had suggested Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence as the offset partner in the Rafale deal. Also Read - This Photo of a Snow-covered Mount Everest Behind Rahul Gandhi During Live Video Session Goes Viral
“It’s my personal demand that he (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) is not suitable for the post and therefore he should immediately resign and appoint any cabinet minister as Prime Minister,” Kharge said while speaking to news agency ANI.” Also Read - '3rd or 4th Front Can't Challenge...': Prashant Kishor Ahead of Gathering at Sharad Pawar's Residence
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“The French government is in no manner involved in the choice of Indian industrial partners who have been, are being, or will be selected by French companies. 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 fulfill their obligations in this regard,” Spokesperson of France’s Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
The Paris-based company said that the partnership between the two giants led to the creation of the “Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd (DRAL) joint-venture in February 2017. “Dassault aviation is very proud that the Indian authorities have selected the Rafale fighter,” it added.
Earlier on Friday, contradicting Modi government claims that it was Dassault that chose its India partner for offsets and that the government had no say in the deal, the former French president, François Hollande, claimed that Dassault Aviation was given no choice but to partner with Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence.
Earlier in the day, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had said,”He (PM Modi) along with Anil Ambani jointly carried out a “surgical strike” on the defence forces.”
“The PM and Anil Ambani jointly carried out a One Hundred and Thirty Thousand Crore, SURGICAL STRIKE on the Indian Defence forces. Modi Ji you dishonoured the blood of our martyred soldiers. Shame on you. You betrayed India’s soul,” Gandhi tweeted on Saturday.
It is here to be noted that the Congress has stepped up its attack on the government over the Rafale deal and is seeking to make it a major poll issue ahead of assembly elections in some key states later this year and the parliamentary election in 2019.