Congress to take Rafale ‘scam’ to the streets, to launch 30-day campaign

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NEW DELHI: In a run-up to the 2019 general elections, Congress has said it will take the issue of the alleged corruption in the Rafale fighter aircraft deal to all states and districts in the country.

In a meeting between Congress President Rahul Gandhi and organisation leaders of the Congress on Saturday, a decision was taken to run a month-long campaign on the Rafale “scam” and to create last-mile awareness about how the government allegedly cost the exchequer much time more than it should have, in finalising the fighter aircraft deal with its French manufacturers.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the month-long, countrywide agitation will “expose” the Modi government on its alleged corruption and scams, including the Rafale fighter jet deal, in which it has been demanding an investigation by a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC). The campaign, led by state units, PCC presidents, and CLP leaders, is expected to hit the streets next week.

“It has been decided that corruption, the scams of the Modi government, and particularly the Rafale scam will be taken to people of India. In the next 30 days, Congress workers will do district and state level demonstrations,” Surjewala said.

Demanding a “fair and independent probe” into the defence deal, the Congress on Saturday also reiterated its demand for a JPC, emphasising that it will not withdraw its demand for transparency in the deal. The Congress has been demanding that the Modi government clarify why the price of each Rafale jet increased threefold in comparison to the deal that was agreed upon by the UPA government.

Congress also discussed the Rafale deal in detail and alleged the “scam” has cost the exchequer a total of Rs 41,000 crore. Surjewala said, “A company belonging to the friend of the Prime Minister has been given a contract worth Rs 30,000 crore under the deal after snatching it away from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.”

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