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17 Dec 2018, Edition - 1252, Monday

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Rafale deal: Hollande is saying our PM is thief, why is Modi silent, asks Rahul Gandhi


Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said he fails to understand why Prime Minister Narendra Modi is silent on the comments made by former French President François Hollande on the Rafale deal.

On Friday, Hollande revealed that the choice to select Reliance Defence as the offset partner of Dassault Aviation was made by the Indian government and France had no option but to go ahead with it. He said this in an exclusive interview to French journal Mediapart.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Gandhi said, “The statements made by Hollande clearly mean that the Indian prime minister is a thief.”

“This is for the first time that a former president is telling us that the Indian prime minister is a thief. The PM has not uttered a single word on these damaging comments. This is a question of the future of our defence forces,” he said.

Accusing the prime minister of being involved in corruption, he said, “We are absolutely convinced that the prime minister is corrupt. I want to tell the people that the person whom you trusted, has betrayed you.”

He said the PM now must accept that “what Mr Hollande has said is true”. “The statement has not been made by an ordinary person. It was made by a former French president who had a one-on-one meeting with PM Modi on the Rafale deal,” he said.