PM should come out with the facts in Rafale deal: Congress

PM should come out with the facts in Rafale deal: Congress

Agency News

New Delhi, Sep 25 (UNI) Slamming Prime Minister for his continued silence on the Rafale deal, the Congress on Tuesday said that Narendra Modi should come out with the facts about the pact and maintained ultimately the matter will be decided in "people's court".

Expressing doubts whether the Prime Minister would come out with the truth in the deal, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said, "Now, the matter will be decided in the people’s court because the Government does not have a reply" .

Addressing a joint press conference with AICC spokespersons Priyanka Chaturvedi and Jaiveeer Shergill, former Union Minister Sibal said, "we do not want to hear what the Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Agriculture Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat have to say on the deal. We only want to hear what the Prime Minister has to say. He should come out with the facts of the deal.’’

Pointing out that the course of events in the run up to the deal, signed on April 10, 2015 between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the then French President Francois Hollande showed that only two persons- President Hollande and PM Modi - know about what transpired at the meeting between the two leaders, Mr Sibal said, "In a press conference on March 25, Eric Trappier, the CEO of Dassault Aviation, said that there had been 95 per cent progress on the deal with the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited . Also, on April 8, 2015, the then Foreign Secretary Jaishankar said the Prime Minister and Mr Hollande would not discuss Rafale deal in their meeting.

"However, on April 10, 2015, the PM signed the deal. Neither then Defence Minisetr Manohar Parrikar nor the Dassault company and not even the Foreign Secretary knew about the deal as is clear from the course of events. Only Hollande and Modi knew what transpired in their meeting..... So, when Hollande says that Mr Modi had said that Reliance should be the offset partner in the deal, it is now for the Prime Minister to say what happened at the meeting. We want him to come out with the facts on the Rafale deal.’’

On the BJP alleging that Pakistan’s statements on Rafale meant that the Pakistani leaders wanted Rahul Gandhi to be India's next PM, Mr Sibal said, "It was the present Government that called the ISI to probe the terrorist attack in Pathankot. Also, former DG of ISI Assad Durrani has said that Mr Modi is the preferred choice of ISI as PM (of India). It is the Prime Minister who went to Pakistan on an unscheduled stopover" .

Describing Rafale as a kind of scam that India had never seen, Mr Sibal said, "No Prime Minister of the country has ever gone to a foreign country and signed a defence deal without the Defence Minister being aware of it and without the prior clearance from the Cabinet committee for security, after scrapping a deal which provided for transfer of technology" . (UNI)