Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday charged Prime Minister Narendra Modi of indulging in parallel negotiations in the Rafale deal and asked him to probe the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) first before carrying out an investigation against those responsible for the disappearance of the secret documents. "They say they want to investigate media for missing Rafale files, but they don't want to investigate the person who stole Rs 30,000 Cr, and who conducted parallel negotiations in Rafale deal, for which there is proof," said the Congress President.
On the issue of missing Rafale files, Rahul said: "Rafale files have disappeared like jobs for two crore youths, right price for farmers' produce and promise to give Rs 15 lakh." The Congress President said the government was saying the documents were missing, which only meant that the Rafale document were genuine. He added that media reports published on the basis of missing documents clearly said the "PMO was carrying out parallel negotiations".
एक नयी लाईन निकली है 'गायब हो गया', 2 करोड़ युवाओं का रोजगार, किसानों को सही दाम, खाते में जो 15 लाख आना था, किसानों के बीमा का पैसा और राफेल की फाईलें गायब हो गयीं : कांग्रेस अध्यक्ष @RahulGandhi#FileChorChowkidar- Congress (@INCIndia) March 7, 2019
"Yes of course, take action on those involved in this missing documents case but also initiate an inquiry on PMO for making parallel negotiations," Rahul Gandhi said, adding the missing papers clearly say that Narendra Modi had done "bypass surgery" in the Rafale deal. Basically, everything possible is being done to safeguard Narendra Modi, he said.
On the issue of mega alliance before Lok Sabha elections 2019, Congress President Rahul Gandhi said that most alliances were on track but the idea of an alliance was unanimously rejected by the party unit in Delhi. Rahul Gandhi also highlighted concerns of some family members of the martyred jawans who had asked for proof of the damage caused by the air strikes conducted by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in Balakot region of Pakistan.
"I won't talk much about it (IAF strikes), but yes I read that families of some of the CRPF personnel who were martyred have raised this issue, they are saying we were hurt so please show us what happened," said the Congress President.
The government on Thursday told in the Supreme Court that the documents related to the Rafale deal were stolen from the defence ministry. The government also stressed that the review petitions on the Supreme Court's Rafale verdict cannot refer to these stolen documents. The review plea had claimed that the government had withheld crucial facts related to the procurement of 36 Rafale jets when the apex court decided to dismiss the batch of PILs against the deal last year in December.
The joint review petition was filed by former finance minister Yashwant Sinha, former union minister Arun Shourie and advocate Prashant Bhushan.
Bhushan had referred to a report about the deal by The Hindu, Venugopal objected that the write-up was based on missing documents and used selective portion from them. A report in Wednesday edition of the daily had claimed the French supplier's refusal, with support from the French government, to provide bank guarantees made the Rafale deal negotiated by the NDA government costlier by 246.11 million euros, as compared to that during the UPA regime.