French media report alleged that kickbacks were paid to a middleman between 2007 and 2012 for securing the Rafale deal with India. The Congress-led UPA was in power between 2004 and 2014.
New Delhi: Amid the latest controversy over the Rafale deal, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said “truth was with them” in every step and asked his party colleagues to not stop or be afraid of fighting against the “corrupt” BJP government.
“When the truth is with you in every step, then what is there to worry about? My Congress colleagues – keep fighting like this against the corrupt central government. Don’t stop, don’t get tired, don’t be afraid,” he wrote on Twitter in Hindi, using the hashtag “#RafaleScam”.
The tweet came against the backdrop of a French media report on alleged kickbacks paid to a middleman between 2007 and 2012 for securing the Rafale deal with India. The Congress-led UPA was in power between 2004 and 2014.
The investigative journal Mediapart claimed that alleged bogus invoices were used that enabled French aircraft maker Dassault Aviation to pay at least 7.5 million euros in secret commissions to a middleman to help it secure the Rafale deal with India.
Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra hit out at the Congress leadership and Rahul Gandhi who has been alleging corruption in the purchase of the fighter aircraft, and accused him of spreading “canard, disinformation and lies”.
“It will not be an exaggeration to say that the INC be renamed as ‘I Need Commission’. Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Robert Vadra – all say that I need commission. The UPA government had a deal within every deal,” Patra said at a media briefing.
Seeking Gandhi’s response to the fresh revelation, Patra said that the Congress leader, who is currently not in India, must answer from Italy.
The BJP-led government had signed the Rafale deal on September 23, 2016, to procure 36 Rafale jets from Dassault Aviation.
The Congress had alleged irregularities in the deal and claimed that the Modi government was procuring each aircraft at a cost of over Rs 1,670 crore as against Rs 526 crore finalised by the UPA government.