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India


Rahul accuses Modi of acting as middleman in Rafale deal; says violation of official Secrets Act

Rahul accuses Modi of acting as middleman in Rafale deal; says violation of official Secrets Act

New Delhi, Feb 12 (UNI) In an all-out attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Rafale fighter jet deal, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday alleged that the PM acted as a middleman for industrialist Anil Ambani and violated the Official Secrets Act.

Addressing media at the AICC headquarters, the Congress president quoted an email, claimed to have been written by an executive of the Airbus, saying Mr Ambani visited the French Defence Minister’s office and mentioned 'a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in preparation and intention to sign during Prime Minister’s visit'.

Mr Gandhi said that Mr Ambani met the French Defence officials ten 10 days prior to the Prime Minister's visit and asked how could a private citizen get to know about the Defence deal.



“How can Mr Ambani meeting with the French Defence Minister just be prior to the Prime Minister’s visit? The then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, then Foreign Secretary and HAL said they did not have any idea about it. Mr Ambani sat in the French Defence Minister’s office and said that Prime Minister Modi is going to sign the deal”, the Congress president said.

He added that a couple of questions arise from this and added that “it was a breach of official secret act”.

"The Prime Minister has compromised the country's security. He gave the information of a defence deal to a person who should not have these information”, he added.

Alleging irregularities in the deal, the Congress president said, “Earlier there was one axis of corruption, second axis of procedure lapses and the third, and frankly a serious one, where PM Modi has compromised national security. This is clear cut”

Mr Gandhi said that till now it seemed like a corruption case, but now it is a case of breach of the Official Secret Act and demanded an investigation on it.

“Mr. Modi is under oath to protect secrets. He has given these secrets to Anil Ambani, who knew about the biggest defence deal in the world ten days before. This itself is criminal. This itself will put the Prime Minister in jail”, the Congress president added.

The Rafale deal was announced by Mr Modi and then French President Francois Hollande in March 2015 during the Prime Minister’s official visit to France.

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