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Rafale deal: Rahul's tweets hint at ‘collusion’ between him and ex-French President Francois Hollande, says BJP

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. File

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. File   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

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Accuses Congress chief of being part of an ‘international conspiracy’ against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and that he was trying to sabotage the Rafale deal at the behest of his brother-in-law Robert Vadra.

The BJP on Monday accused Congress president Rahul Gandhi of being part of an ‘international conspiracy’ against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and that he was trying to sabotage the Rafale deal at the behest of his brother-in-law Robert Vadra.

 

“We recognise that there is a perception war. I will go around the country and patiently answer each and every question. We will certainly not take all of this false propaganda lying down,” Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.

She claimed that Mr. Gandhi’s tweets from August 31 — which said, “..this Rafale aircraft really does fly far and fast! It’s also going to drop some big bunker buster bombs in the next couple of weeks” — hinted at a ‘collusion’ between him and former French President Francois Hollande.

Mr. Hollande had said India had suggested the offset partner.

“The tweet and his [Mr. Hollande] comment soon after can’t be a coincidence after all. Now you see, there is an international dimension too,” she said.

Minister of State (Agriculture) Gajendra Shekhawat accused the Congress of hatching an “international conspiracy”.

“How Rahul Gandhi and he [Mr. Hollande] are linked as a part of nexus and are trying to sabotage the deal needs to be understood.”

‘Deal called off after firm linked to Vadra not chosen as broker’

Mr. Shekhawat alleged that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had called off the deal after a private company linked to Mr. Vadra was not chosen as a broker. “The friendship between Mr. [Sanjay] Bhandari and Mr. Vadra is well known. Mr. Bhandari was pushing for Mr. Vadra’s firm to be the broker,” he said.

 

The Congress had built up a campaign to mislead the nation on the deal because they wanted to get back at French manufacturer Dassault. “Since Dassault did not listen to them even when the UPA was in power, the Congress wants to ensure that the deal now too gets cancelled,” he said.

The government is in no mood to accept the Opposition’s demand for a joint parliamentary committee to probe the Rafale deal.

JPC will end up in a slandering match: Nirmala

Ms. Sitharaman said a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe would only end up in a “slandering match.” The facts about the deal were already in the public domain.

“Why is the Opposition demanding a JPC? Such a JPC would expose our defence preparedness, our capacity and calibre. They want to weaken the security of our country,” Mr. Shekhawat said.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 10:16:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bjp-sees-rahul-hollande-nexus/article25031606.ece

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