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India


Rahul Gandhi working as 'lobbyist' for competitive aircraft supplier companies: BJP

Rahul Gandhi working as 'lobbyist' for competitive aircraft supplier companies: BJP

New Delhi, Feb 12 (UNI) Claiming that Congress party was making unsubstantiated claims on Rafale aircraft deal with France, the BJP on Tuesday alleged that the Congress president Rahul Gandhi was working as a

'lobbyist' for competitive aircraft supplier companies.

"Rahul Gandhi is acting as a lobbyist for competitive companies. How did he get the email from

Airbus?" Union Minister and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters here.

He further said: "How Rahul Gandhi got the email of a private company is in a cloud. Regardless of the shameful manner in which Rahul Gandhi is acting as a lobbyist for companies..... but the country will not bend. The country needs fighter planes and adequate defence equipment."

Much furor has been triggered following media reports on an Airbus email that claims business magnate Anil Ambani "told (telling) them he intends to work with Airbus Helicopters on commercial helos and then on defence."

He is also said to have "mentioned a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in preparation and the intention to sign during the Prime Minister's visit.

According to Reliance Defence, Airbus had told Anil Ambani that there were "other potential partners" and the deal fell through.

Earlier in the day, Mr Gandhi said that Prime Minister has compromised national security, - "he has done what spies do".

The email says that several employees of the plane-maker were reportedly in the meeting between Anil Ambani and French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. The email by Airbus official Nicolas Chamussy, marked to three recipients with the subject line "Ambani", described the meeting as "confidential and planned as you can imagine with very short notice".

The Union Minister countered saying- "He (Rahul Gandhi) has thrown muck at his own face by abusing our honest Prime Minister. We will expose his lies before the public".

The Congress president had quoted an email and 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 in preparation and intention to sign during Prime Minister’s visit'.

Mr Gandhi alleged that Mr Ambani met the French Defence officials 10 days prior to the Prime

Minister's visit and asked how could a private citizen get to know about the Defence deal.

The charge of 'lobbying' against Rahul Gandhi earlier came on January 7. "The entire bogey of falsehood campaign against Rafale is now clear ....it is accentuated by extraneous considerations," BJP leader and Union Law Minister has said in reference to media reports alleging that the AgustaWestland scam middleman Christian Michel was also lobbying for the Eurofighter to win the same deal for 126 jets.

The reports had claimed that Michel and an associate had prepared a 'strategy paper' to reach out to an influential 'political navigator' and Indian Air Force officials to tilt the contract in favour of Eurofighter.

The Eurofighter Typhoon consortium, according to company website, brings together the brightest minds in European aerospace in order to create a world class weapon system.

It is built on the strength of four European nations: UK; Germany; Italy and Spain, and their leading aerospace and defence companies, the website says.

"In this light the entire bogey of falsehood, entire campaign of canard unleashed by Rahul Gandhi in particular and the Congress party is completely false and based upon pure commercial competition interest," Mr Prasad has alleged.

UNI RSA DEVN 1515

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