Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday accused the Narendra Modi-led government of lying in the Rafale aircraft deal with France, portraying Modi as a “bhagidaar” (collaborator) in cases of alleged corruption, not a “chowkidaar (guard).
Addressing the Lok Sabha during his speech on the no-confidence motion, he said the French president had conveyed to him that there was no problem in sharing details relating to the Rafale deal worth Rs 58,000 crore. While stating this, Rahul said that Modi was seen to be nervous and not looking into his eyes.
Further, Rahul also questioned Modi’s links to certain businessmen, alleging that he had helped write off the debt of about 25 businessmen but did not listen to the pleas of poor farmers.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman termed as “absolutely wrong” Rahul’ claim that there was no confidentiality clause in the Rafale aircraft deal with France. Moreover, she said the initial agreement was signed when the UPA was in power in 2008. She said the secrecy agreement was signed in 2008 and the Rafale deal was covered under it.
She said as per article 10 of the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) between India and France on purchase of Rafale aircraft, protection of classified information and materials exchanged under IGA shall be governed by provisions of security agreement signed on January 25, 2008.
Meanwhile, the French government in a statement said that the fighter jet deal was under classified category and the details of it can’t be revealed. “France and India concluded in 2008 a security agreement, which legally binds the two States to protect the classified information provided by the partner,” it said to the allegations. /