New Delhi: In yet another offensive against Narendra Modi over the ongoing controversy on the Rafale fighter jet deal, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday addressed the prime minister as “Commander-in-Thief”.Also Read - Nagaland Violence: 14 Including Soldier Dead, Agitated Mob Vandalises Assam Rifles Camp | Top Points
The inapt term against PM Modi featured in a tweet by Gandhi on Monday afternoon in which the editor-in-chief of the French news publication ‘mediapart’ Edwy Plenel highlights parts of the statement of former French President Francois Hollande who had alleged that the French side had no role in deciding the Offset partner for Dassault and the name of Reliance was given by the Indian side. Also Read - Delhi to Dehradun in Just 2.5 Hours: How This New Expressway Will Curtail Travel Time Between 2 Cities | Deets Inside
“The key sentence in Mr. Hollande’s statement is: We did not have a choice. We did not have a word to say about the subject. The Indian government suggested this service provider. We picked the interlocutor which was selected for us by the Indian government,” Plenel is heard saying in the video. Also Read - Breaking News Highlights: 5 Members of Gang in UP TET Question Paper Leak Incident Arrested
Francois Hollande told French Journal Media in an interview that the French side had no role in deciding the Offset partner for Dassault and the name of Reliance was given by the Indian side. Hollande made this statement while defending himself and his partner Julie Gayet over alleged funding by Reliance of the latter’s film.
Gandhi captioned the video with “Sad truth about India’s Commander in thief”.
AFP reported that Hollande told it on the sidelines of a meeting in Canada on Friday that France “did not choose Reliance in any way”. When asked whether India had put pressure on Reliance and Dassault to work together, Hollande said he was unaware and “only Dassault can comment on this”.
His remarks on Friday led to a political controversy Rahul Gandhi called Narendra Modi a “thief” and “corrupt”.
Rahul Gandhi said the former French President had called PM Modi a “thief” in the Rafale deal and sought a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the agreement to purchase 36 fighter jets from France.
Meanwhile, addressing a rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi, Gandhi charged country’s “chowkidar” Narendra Modi with snatching away money from the poor and handing it over to industrialist Anil Ambani.
He asks the prime minister for answers on why Rafale price was not disclosed and how Ambani got the contract.
“The chowkidar of the country has taken out Rs 20,000 crore from the pockets of the poor, martyrs and the jawans and put it in the pocket of Ambani,” he said at a meeting in the Jais area of his constituency.
“France’s former president (Hollande) has called Narendra Modi a thief. Now, Modi ji has to clarify why is he (Hollande) calling him a thief,” he added.
Hitting back, the BJP termed Gandhi as a “directionless leader” and said that the latter has no facts or evidence against the government over the Rafale deal.
Meanwhile, the BJP drew a parallel between the opposition party and Pakistani leaders, saying both want Prime Minister Narendra Modi removed from Indian politics.
Earlier, questioning the timing of the statement by Hollande that came days after Gandhi’s August 30th cryptic tweet warning of “some big bunker buster bombs in the next couple of weeks” with regard to the controversy surrounding the Rafale deal, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday alleged that it was not a mere coincidence that the Opposition leaders of the two countries were speaking in one voice on the controversial Rafale issue.
Jaitley indicated in an exclusive interview with ANI that there could be a linkage between Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s charges on the NDA government and Hollande’s statement on Rafale deal.
Defending the Prime Minister and the Indian government on the Rafale deal, Finance Minister Jaitley said that Hollande’s statements were contradictory in nature. “The former French President is contradicted by the French government and Dassault, and the next day he goes and contradicts himself,” he added.