Rafale Scam in Modi Govt. Rahul Gandhi to Meet HAL Employees

Congress President Rahul Gandhi. Photo: Congress
Congress President Rahul Gandhi. Photo: Congress

As the controversy surrounding the Rafale deal refuses to slow down, the case has now reached India’s top investigating agency Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

By Rakesh Raman

While the government is not able to handle the Rafale corruption issue, Congress president Rahul Gandhi has decided to meet the employees of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the Indian state-owned aerospace and defence company that lost the business because of corruption in Rafale deal.

Rahul Gandhi will address HAL employees in Bengaluru on Saturday. “Congress president Rahul Gandhi will be in Bengaluru where he will be speaking on how Reliance was favoured at the cost of HAL in the Rafale scam,” Congress tweeted today.

As the controversy surrounding the Rafale deal refuses to slow down, the case has now reached India’s top investigating agency Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

[ Supreme Court Admits Petition in Rafale Corruption Case ]

Former BJP ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie, and lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan have filed a complaint with the CBI, urging the agency to register an FIR against PM Narendra Modi and former defence minister Manohar Parrikar.

The complaint alleges that Modi and Parrikar have committed a number of offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, in the course of the April 2015 decision to purchase 36 Rafale aircraft from Dassault Aviation. The complaint was handed over to Alok Verma, director of the CBI, last Thursday.

Rafale Scam: PM Modi Blamed with Hashtag #Mera_PM_Chor_Hai ]

Earlier, Congress had submitted a detailed complaint about corruption in Rafale deal to India’s top anti-corruption organization Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).

According to Congress, a delegation of the party leaders met the Central Vigilance Commissioner K V Chowdary and presented proof of rampant corruption in Modi government. The party claimed that the irregularities in the Rafale deal have endangered national security and illegal benefit of ₹1,30,000 crore has gone to Modi’s crony friends (including Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani).

As Congress is determined to make the Rafale corruption case a major issue in the upcoming elections, on last Thursday it complained again to Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India – the top auditor of government accounts – urging it to investigate the Rafale case.

A delegation of the Congress leadership met the CAG to inform him about the latest developments in the case and submit a new complaint.

Earlier, Congress had released a 20-point representation that it had sent to CAG. It has accused PM Modi of benefiting his crony friends in the unilateral purchase of 36 Rafale jets from French company Dassault Aviation.

Many Modi supporters believe that this is a political gimmick that the opposition parties are trying to play against PM Modi. A BJP leader and Modi’s friend Arun Jaitley has refuted the allegations, saying that it is an attempt to malign the government by spreading falsehood regarding the 2016 Inter-Governmental Agreement for the procurement of Rafale fighter aircraft.

While BJP leaders are defending Modi’s Rafale deal by giving loose political statements, they are not able to handle the specific queries related to the irregularities in the case.

Now Congress and other Modi opponents are demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe in the Rafale case which is stated to be the biggest scam in the world.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society.

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