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India


PM acted as Anil Ambani’s middleman in Rafale deal, violated Official Secrets Act: Rahul

PM acted as Anil Ambani’s middleman  in Rafale deal, violated Official Secrets Act: Rahul

New Delhi, Feb 12 (UNI) Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday intensified his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that he acted as a ‘middleman’ of the industrialist in the Rafale fighter jet deal and violated the Official Secrets Act.

The allegations followed the surfacing of an email by an Airbus executive in which he wrote that Mr Ambani met the French Defence Minister and told him 10 days before the Rafale deal was signed that he was going to get it.
Addressing an impromptu press conference here, the Congress president said, 'This email is clear. An Airbus executive wrote that Mr Anil Ambani met the French Defence Minister and told him 10 days before the Rafale deal was signed that he was going to get it.

'Narendra Modi ji acted as the middleman of Anil Ambani. Now, the PM needs to answer how did Anil Ambani know ten days in advance of the Rafale deal. Defence Minister, HAL, Foreign Secy did not know but Anil Ambani knew. If this is true then the PM is in violation of Official Secrets Act. Criminal action must be initiated on this basis.’’

Displaying the copy of a newspaper report which referred to an email by an Airbus employee with details of the meeting, Rahul said, 'Anil Ambani, who met the French Defence Minister, mentioned about an MoU he is looking forward to sign after the Indian prime minister's visit to France. Mr Ambani says he is first looking to make commercial helicopters. This is a breach of the Official Secrets Act. The PM is the only other person who knows about this. In fact Anil Ambani opened his company after this meeting. The PM is acting as Anil Ambani's middleman, it is in black-and-white for anyone who reads the email.’’

The report said that Anil Ambani visited the then French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian's office in Paris and had a meeting with his top advisors in March 2015.

The report said Anil Ambani's meeting was described by the French president's industry adviser Christophe Salomon to a top official of a European defence company as "confidential and planned as you can imagine with a very short notice".

Charging the PM with compromising National security, Mr Gandhi said, 'This is now treason. Mr Modi is doing what spies do. He is informing somebody of a defence matter. He is under oath to protect these secrets. ‘’

The Congress president said that after the fresh revelations, investigation in the Rafale deal needs to be carried out in three aspects - corruption, procedural and now national security.
'Action should be taken against the guilty on these three aspects,’’ he said.

Mr Gandhi also dismissed the CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General's) report on the Rafale deal, which was presented in Parliament today.

‘’CAG report is a worthless report. I would term it as a ‘Chowkidar Auditor General Report’. It is Narendra Modi’s report, written for the Chowkidar, on behalf of the Chowkidar, for the Chowkidar by the Chowkidar,’’ he said.

He said that after the fresh revelations in the deal, the Supreme court order on the Rafale deal was open to question.

'The Supreme Court said it clearly that it is not our jurisdiction. SC ne 'Chowkidar Auditor Report' ko quote kar diya. Frankly, Supreme Court judgement is open to question now,’’ Rahul said.

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