Only Modi could have told Ambani about the deal in advance, he alleged. “This is treason. He (Modi) is doing what spies do,” Gandhi said.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi Tuesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of acting as a middleman of Anil Ambani in the Rafale jet deal, as he cited an e-mail to claim 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, Gandhi alleged at a press conference, and said this “puts Modi in jail”.
Ambani had met the French defence minister days before the signing of the deal during Modi’s visit to France in 2015, Gandhi said, quoting from an e-mail 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.
Taken aback by the charges BJP Tuesday dismissed Rahul Gandhi’s allegations against Narendra Modi on the Rafale jet deal as height of shamelessness and irresponsibility, and asserted that the e-mail he 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 e-mail was cited by the Congress president, in a dock, saying the European aircraft manufacturer is under a needle of suspicion in deals finalised during the previous Congress-led government. He asked Gandhi to answer how he got hold of the company’s internal communication and accused him of acting as a “lobbyist” of foreign firms.
Speaking to reporters soon after Gandhi’s press conference, Prasad also took strong exception to the Congress leader charging Modi with “treason”.
The BJP leader said his party had serious differences with former prime ministers, who came from the Gandhi family, over several “murky” defence deals signed during their term but never accused them of treason.
“He (Rahul Gandhi) has thrown muck at his own face by abusing our honest prime minister… We will expose his lies before the public,” he said.