Rahul Gandhi says PM Narendra Modi acting as Anil Ambani’s middleman: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is acting as if he is the middleman for Reliance ADAG chairman Anil Ambani. Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Rahul Gandhi said the prime minister was aware of the Rafale jet deal with the French government and informed Anil Ambani about it. As a result, Ambani went to Paris and met the top advisors of French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s office to influence them to bend the deal in his company’s favour even two weeks before the deal was signed with the country.
The Congress attack comes in the aftermath of the release of a leaked e-mail which appears to be a conversation between Jean-Yves Le Drian’s office and aircraft manufacturer Airbus. The mail suggests that Anil Ambani visited then French defence minister Les Drian’s office in Paris in late March 2015, a fortnight before Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the procurement of 36 Rafale jets from France. Though the mail has given Rahul enough ammunition to launch a scathing attack on Modi and the ruling BJP, its veracity is yet to be authenticated.
Earlier, Rahul Gandhi had alleged that the Prime Minister’s Office held parallel talks with the French government while the Ministry of Defence (MoD) was negotiating the jet deal. Rahul alleged the then defence minister Manohar Parrikar had opposed PMO interference as it undermined the importance of the Defence Ministry. However, both the BJP and former defence secretary rubbished the Congress’ leaders allegation levelled against Modi.
The Gandhi scion said that every new day sees new revelations about the Rafale deal and show that PM Narendra Modi helped his friend Anil Ambani and stole Rs 30,000 crore public money.
Speaking on the CAG report, which almost gave a clean chit to the Modi government in the Rafale deal, Rahul said it was a worthless report and he would term it a ‘Chowkidar Auditor General Report’. This is Narendra Modi’s report, written for the Chowkidar, on behalf of the Chowkidar, for the Chowkidar by the Chowkidar, he added.
However, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday alleged that Rahul Gandhi is working like an agent and lobbyist for defence equipment manufacturer Airbus Industries. He also questioned how Rahul Gandhi managed to obtain the secret Airbus email.
Ambani was part of the PM’s delegation during the visit where the deal for 36 Rafale aircraft was announced by Modi and then French President Francois Hollande in a joint statement issued by the two sides.