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There Will Be a Criminal Investigation in Rafale Deal if I’m Voted To Power: Rahul Gandhi

He said Sitharaman in her reply should state if Modi pushed the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited out of the deal to manufacture the planes

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Rahul Gandhi, Wikipedia

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday said there will be a criminal investigation into the Rafale deal if Congress comes to power in the 2019 elections, stating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being accused of wrongdoings in the deal but is running away from the questions posed to him.

Talking to reporters in the Parliament House complex, he said that Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman should answer the specific questions posed by him to Modi when she replies to the debate on the Rafale deal.

He said Lok Sabha on Wednesday witnessed a discussion on the deal that “PM has personally signed.”

“You witnessed that the government refused to answer fundamental questions. Arun Jaitley did not answer the fundamental questions. The Prime Minister, who is being accused in the matter, chose to run away from the House, did not put his foot in the Lok Sabha,” he said.

Gandhi said Jaitley should answer his questions instead of abusing him.

“The fundamental question here is there should be a JPC (joint parliamentary committee) probe. Supreme Court has said that Rafale inquiry is not in its jurisdiction. If we come to power in 2019, there will be criminal investigation and people responsible will be punished,” he said.

Gandhi said the youth of the country are putting questions to the prime minister.
“Who decided to raise the price of the fighter jet from Rs 526 crore to Rs 1600 crore? Whose decision was this? Was this the decision of the Air Force, Defence Ministry or Prime Minister? We want clear cut answers,” he said.

Rahul Gandhi becomes the president of Congress as mother Sonia Gandhi Steps Down
Rahul says will go for criminal investigation in Rafale deal if voted to power.

Gandhi said an important question is if the Defence Ministry had objected to any element of the deal.

“Are there documents with the Defence Ministry that they opposed the deal? She should say there were no objections. If there are objections and file notings, then on what basis did the Prime Minister overrule these questions? I hope she will answer but I have my doubts she will not be able to,” he said.

The Congress chief said the Indian Air Force wanted 126 fighter planes but the government is purchasing only 36 planes. “Were national security considerations taken into consideration (while taking the decision)?”

He alleged that a private entity made Rs 30,000 crore in the offset deal.
He said the contract to manufacture planes should have come to HAL but the planes being procured by government are being manufactured in France.

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“The industry should have come to India. Who decided to keep HAL out? This is not Narendra Modi’s money. This your money,” he said.

The Congress leader claimed that former French President Francois Hollande has said that Modi “made it clear” that the deal to purchase fighter jets will go through if the offsets contract is given to the private entity.

He said Sitharaman in her reply should state if Modi pushed the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited out of the deal to manufacture the planes. (IANS)

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Congress To Use Tribal Card to Regain Power in the Country

Congress to use tribal card to improve countrywide position

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Congress Chhattisgarh
Congress will be using the tribal card to regain dominance and their plan of action will begin from Chhattisgarh. Wikimedia Commons

BY SANDEEP PAURANIK

In order to regain dominance in the country, the Congress is mulling using the tribal card. This plan of action is to be first implemented in Chhattisgarh.

Riding on the success of the Assembly and urban body elections, the Congress feels that it can increase it base through tribals as they constitute 8 per cent of the total population.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the first three Assembly elections in the state, after its formation in 2000, recorded huge victories and came to power. But after the Assembly elections held last year, the scenario changed. After registering a victory in the Assembly elections and then in the urban body polls, the Congress showed that it still dominates the tribal areas.

Rahul Gandhi Congress
Former President of Congress Rahul Gandhi gave an important message while innaugrating the National Tribal Dance Festival in Raipur. Wikimedia Commons

The Congress gave the responsibility of the tribal areas to the tribal leader of Madhya Pradesh Umang Singhar which eventually helped the party. Now, the party is planning to spread out nationwide through Chhattisgarh.

Former party president Rahul Gandhi, while inaugurating the National Tribal Dance Festival in Raipur, gave a message to the tribals who are here to participate in the festival that the Chhattisgarh government is working for all the sections and this is the reason why there has been a downward trend in naxal attacks and the state economy has also improved.

The Congress is planning to publicise the improvements in Chhattisgarh throughout the country because the tribal population in the state is 32 per cent.

BJP media panellist Sandeep Sharma, however, claims that the party’s base has not shrunk. He said till Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh were not divided, the Congress was strong in the area but in the elections held after three years of the bifurcation, the BJP won the Assembly elections and was in power for 15 years. Though we faced defeat in the 2018 elections, the only reason was that people wanted a change but they were not angry with the BJP, he claimed.

The BJP won in the Lok Sabha elections and the margin in the urban body elections was also not much. So, it would be inappropriate to say that the BJP’s base has shrunk, he said adding that in one year the Congress’ base has declined by 9 per cent whereas in Assembly elections it got 12 per cent more votes and in urban body elections the margin was 3 per cent.

Congress
The Congress is planning to publicise the improvements in Chhattisgarh throughout the country. Wikimedia Commons

Analysing the political landscape of the state, political analyst Rudra Awasthi said, “When it was Madhya Pradesh then the Congress had stronghold in Chhattisgarh. Several big leaders were also from the state but after the formation of Chhattisgarh since Ajit Jogi was accused of being a fake tribal the Congress lost its stronghold over the tribals. Though it continued to dominate in some of the areas which helped it in regaining the power.

“As of now, the Congress has started including the tribals with the backward class. First Bhupesh Baghel was the state chief of the party and he was replaced by Mohan Markam as he became the Chief Minister. During the Assembly elections, the Congress talked about the identity of the tribals which helped the party. After winning the elections, the decisions of the Congress government were in favour of the tribals which helped the party in the urban body elections,” said Awasthi.

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The Congress is mulling over spreading its message to the tribals across the country through the three-day festival going on here. For this several senior leaders of the party will attend the festival and share the government’s schemes while giving the message that the Congress government in the state has brought a positive and a significant change in the lives of the tribals. (IANS)