Belagavi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of handing over the contract to buy Rafale aircraft to one of his close friends by depriving the HAL of this contract.
“The Rafale deal had been given to HAL but Mr Modi cancelled it. He went to Paris and changed the Rafale contract without asking any officials or ministers back home. The country’s then Defence Minister (Manohar Parrikar) was busy buying fish in Goan markets and was not even aware of the change of the Rafale contract by Mr Modi in Paris,” said Mr Gandhi at a Congress rally in Saudatti adding that by changing the contract for no logical reason, the PM had deprived the youth in Karnataka of jobs.
HAL has been producing aircraft for the last 70 years, but Mr Modi's friend who got this contract, has never manufactured any aircraft, said Mr Gandhi adding that he had posed three questions to the PM after the change in the Rafale contract. “I asked him whether the price of the aircraft had increased or gone down after the change of the contract. I asked him on what basis he (Modi) had handed over the contract to his friend after snatching it from HAL and the youth of Karnataka. What was the main reason for change of this contract,” said Rahul, adding that major military contracts must be finalised only after obtaining permission from the Cabinet Committee on Security but Mr Modi had no answer to a query on this.
He asked people at the rally whether Mr Modi had given jobs to two crore youth in one year which he had promised prior to becoming PM and said, he took people for a ride by launching projects like Startup India and Make In India which never came to the help of the youth. Dalits, minorities and adivasis were being beaten up and attacked in states like Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat where the BJP was in power, he said.
Asserting that the Congress government was much better in terms of performance than the previous BJP government, he said BJP produced 13,000 MW of power during its rule while the Congress now produces 22,000 MW. The Congress government started Indira Canteens and gave food to the needy at `5 a plate, he said. Highlighting the achievements of Congress governments, he said reservation in panchayats was brought in by his party which resulted in the victory of 20 lakh women in the panchayat raj system. “We want the Women’s Bill to be passed in both Houses of parliament but the BJP is stalling it,” he added.
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