Amethi (UP): Congress president Rahul Gandhi said Tuesday more facts on the Rafale fighter deal will be out soon, while telling the youth in his constituency that they lost jobs as a related contract went to the Reliance Group rather than HAL which has a unit here.
This is the beginning, he told reporters on the last day of the two-day trip to his Amethi Lok Sabha constituency.
He said more facts will emerge on the Rafale deal, and on the people involved with the fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya.
The truth will be before you and you can judge, he said.
Reminding his constituents that a Hindustan Aeronautics Limited unit was located in Amethi district, he repeated the charge that an offset deal wrongly went to Anil Ambani’s Reliance group instead of the public sector HAL.
The youth should understand that employment opportunities have been snatched from HAL and from you all,” he said.
Targeting the prime minister, Gandhi said Narendra Modi had claimed he wanted to be the country chowkidar’ (watchman). But he put Rs. 30,000 crore in Ambani’s pocket.
The money which belonged to the youth and IAF was snatched from them and put in Ambani’s pocket, he said.
HAL has been making aircraft for the past 70 years, it made MiG, Sukhoi and Jaguar, he said.
The youth should pay attention. Anil Ambani has not made an aircraft all his life. He floats a company just 10 days before and gets the contract,” Rahul claimed.
The Reliance group has in the past rejected the charge that the current government was involved in its own commercial deal with Dassault, the French company which makes the Rafale fighter aircraft.
The Dassault-Reliance deal was meant to meet the government’s offset policy of providing Indian companies business whenever overseas defence deals are signed.
Gandhi claimed under the previous UPA government that the deal would have gone to HAL.
The thinking behind it was that fighter jets will be made here, it will generate employment, ensure technology transfer and the Air Force will be strengthened,” he said.
“Narendra Modi becomes the prime minister and the Rs 526-crore aircraft is bought for Rs 1,600 crore, he claimed.
“We asked the prime minister and the defence minister about the cost of the aircraft. But the defence minister says the youth do not have the right to know as there is a secret pact,” the Congress chief said.
He also recalled the recent row over former French president Francois Hollande’s reported claim later rejected by that country’s government that the Indian side insisted that Dassault pick the Ambanis as their local partners.
They can say whatever they want but the youth should remember that their money has been put into Ambani’s pocket,” Gandhi said.
Earlier, the Congress chief took part in a meeting of the district vigilance and monitoring committee.