No corruption in Rafale jet deal, asserts Union Minister Gadkari

ST Correspondent
Saturday, 29 September 2018

“The Indian government had nothing to do with it (Dassault’s choice of Indian partner). (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi also has nothing to do with the deal. The Opposition is unnecessarily creating confusion about this deal. We are a transparent government,” said Gadkari. 

Mumbai: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) countered the Congress on Thursday over the alleged Rafale scam, asking the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party to tell the people what they have done in last 50 years. They also asked party workers to go on offensive against the misinformation spread by the opposition.

The BJP had its state executive meeting at Rangsharada in Mumbai. Union Minister and BJP leader Nitin Gadkari said the opposition was spreading misleading information about the Rafale deal. “No corruption occurred in the deal. The BJP workers have to react aggressively against the allegations,” he said.

“The Indian government had nothing to do with it (Dassault’s choice of Indian partner). (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi also has nothing to do with the deal. The Opposition is unnecessarily creating confusion about this deal. We are a transparent government,” said Gadkari. 

“We are buying fighter aircraft since 2002. The condition of our  aircraft was very bad. So many fighter planes have crashed till date. The condition of helicopters is as if you are sitting in a truck. Modi travels in such helicopters,” he added.

He claimed the cost negotiated by the NDA for Rafale jets was 40 per cent cheaper than what the UPA had agreed upon.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the Congress-NCP should come on one platform to tell what they have done in 15 years and he would present his data of less than 4 years. “Let people of entire Maharashtra know how they have been cheated for decades,” he said. “We have successfully completed 30,000 km of rural roads. World Bank team has certified that more than 99% roads are of better quality that before,” said Fadnavis. 

He said, “We have decided on land acquisition first for all irrigation projects to save cost escalation. Have spent Rs 30,000 crore on irrigation and another Rs 30,000 crore sought from the Central government.”

“Our government completed irrigation of 13 lakh hectares of land in just 4 years. Earlier it was 32 lakh hectares till 2014,” he said. 

“In education we were at 18th position, now we are at 3rd position,” he said. 
 
“For farmers the government provided assistance of Rs 16,000 crore in just 4 years, that was merely Rs 7,000 crore during Congress-NCP’s 15 years. Foodgrain purchase during their 15 years was Rs 450 crore and of Rs 8,200 crore during our 4 years,” he added. 

Meanwhile, Congress held a protest march from Mahalaxmi Racecourse to August Kranti Ground on Thursday demanding Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe the Rafale deal. Senior Congress leaders, including party’s state in-charge Mallikarjun Kharge, state Congress chief Ashok Chavan, Mumbai unit president Sanjay Nirupam participated in the march.

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