Rahul Gandhi exclusive India News, NewsX interview: Calling the Rafale deal yet again as India’s biggest defence corruption, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of sidetracking from the important issue when he called for an open debate on the subject. In an exclusive interview with the ITV network, Gandhi said that he wanted to know from the government why the Rafale contract was taken away from HAL and why Rs 30,000-crore worth of offset obligation of the deal was given to an Anil Ambani firm which had no prior experience in defence. He said Modi didn’t accept the debate because he was afraid of being exposed. Gandhi claimed that the Modi government purposely amended the Defence Procurement Procedure 2013 (formulated by the UPA government), to give huge scope to Dassault Aviation.

The Congress chief was critical of several key decisions taken by the government in the last five years from demonetization to Gabbar Singh tax, which he claimed have stalled the economy and took the country backward. Referring to demonetization, Gandhi said that the Modi government has taken away money from the poor, forced them to stand in long queues and made fool of them by telling them that it is a fight against corruption and blackmoney. He fooled the entire country to benefit a handful of rich people. Did people like Anil Ambani, Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya stand in queue, he asked.

Promising that Congress will put back money into each of the bank accounts allegedly plundered by the Modi government, Gandhi said that his party’s flagship scheme – Nyay will jumpstart the economy. The Nyuntam Aay Yojana, or the Nyay scheme, assures up to Rs 72,000 a year or Rs 6,000 a month income to 20 per cent of India’s poorest families. The basic idea is to directly transfer funds to around 25 crore people under the Nyay scheme. He said that when people starts getting money, they will start making purchases, which in turn would increase goods sale and consumption, and which in turn will boost employment. There’s no option but only Nyay, he said. After demonetisation, people had stopped purchasing and factories had stopped manufacturing, the Congress leader said, adding that the Nyay scheme would create new jobs.

It’s not just Nyay that will topple the government; people have lost confidence in the Modi government. Modi used to make fun of Manmohan Singh but now the country is making fun of him. Alleging that the twin blow of demonetization and GST has destroyed the country’s economy, Gandhi said had Modi taken the advice of Manmohan Singh he would not have rolled out the destructive legislations.

Referring to PM Modi’s promise of depositing Rs 15 lakh into each bank account of the poor, Gandhi said it’s impossible to give such an amount as the economy will collapse. But whatever Congress says it is well thought out, because giving Rs 72,000 per year, or Rs 3.60 lakh in five years individually, is possible, he told the channel.

Asked who would be the next prime minister of the country, Gandhi said five years ago people had said Modi will be PM for 10 years. The main thing is both BJP and Modi are losing. And as far as the next PM is concerned, people will pick. He said the idea of Modi from five years ago has ended. Now the most important thing is employment. If there are no jobs, what’ll happen to India, he said.

On Pulwama terror attack, Rahul Gandhi said there was no confusion as he had clearly instructed his party members that there will be no politics in time of sadness.

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