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Home / Politics / Policy /  Rahul asks Modi to reply to Hollande’s claim on Rafale

New Delhi: In a sharp attack against the central government, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi come clean on the Rafale deal as he was being called ‘a thief’ by former French president François Hollande.

Alleging that there was corruption in the deal, Gandhi said a joint parliamentary committee should be formed to investigate the matter.

This comes a day after a French journal quoted Hollande as saying that Dassault Aviation was given no choice but to partner with the Reliance Group for the offset clause in the deal, according to an ANI report. Hollande’s remark contradicted the Indian government’s stand on the Rafale deal.

“For the first time, an ex-French President is calling our PM a thief. It is a question of the dignity of the office of Prime Minister. What I’m surprised with is that the PM is completely silent. Not one word has come out from the PM’s mouth on this. This is from a President of France, who had a one-to-one meeting with the PM where the Rafale deal was decided," Gandhi said while addressing a press conference in the national capital.

He said it was very important for the PM now to either accept Hollande’s statement or disclose the truth.

“We are absolutely convinced that the PM of India is corrupt. I’m trying to help him protect his office. He must clarify. The PM is not speaking up. There is clear corruption in the Rafale deal and the decision was taken by the PM and the person who benefitted had travelled with the PM to France. There should be a joint parliamentary committee formed. Everything will be clear," Gandhi said.

The government has said that the joint venture between the two groups was the result of a commercial decision between the businesses and the Indian and French governments had no role in that.

The issue has reached a flashpoint between the government and the opposition. The Congress has been questioning the price and the choice of the offset partner. On Thursday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley accused Gandhi of repeatedly making false statements about the government.

Also read: Dassault Aviation says partnership with Reliance Group for Rafale was its own choice

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