Modi changed Rafale deal terms to benefit Anil Ambani, alleges Rahul

(Eds: Adds details, quotes) Mahuva (Guj), Apr 15 (PTI) Hours after the Supreme Court sought an explanation from Rahul Gandhi for his certain remarks on the Rafale deal, the Congress chief Monday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of changing its terms to benefit his "friend" Anil Ambani to the tune of Rs 30,000 crore.Addressing a rally here, Gandhi also said he got the idea of `Nyay' scheme from Modi's "fake promise" of depositing Rs 15 lakh into every citizen's bank account.Hard selling his party's pledge of providing Rs 72,000 a year to 20 per cent poorest families, he said money for the `Nyay' scheme will come from the pockets of fugitive economic offenders like Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi."As part of the UPA deal, HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd) had to manufacture the fighter aircraft. We were to procure 126 fighter jets (from France)."But Narendra Modi changed the deal. He said we will purchase 36 French-made fighter jets and gave Rs 30,000 crore to Anil Ambani, who has no experience of making fighter aircraft," Gandhi alleged.The Congress chief alleged the Modi government is buying the aircraft at an inflated price."He (Anil Ambani) has never made an aircraft, but you gave this big deal to him, why? Just because he is your friend."The (former) President of France told me that when Narendra Modi visited that country, he told them 'we will purchase one Rafale fighter jet for Rs 1,600 crore instead of Rs 526 crore and from that give Rs 30,000 crore to Anil Ambani'," Gandhi alleged."The case is going on in the Supreme Court... (and), when the CBI says they will investigate, the agency's director is removed at midnight.`The Hindu' newspaper said Narendra Modi continued parallel negotiations with the French company and French government," he said.The Congress president said the PM is the `chowkidar' (watchman) of the rich, not the poor."He told common people don't make me prime minister, but make me chowkidar. Tell me one thing - have you seen a chowkidar guarding the houses of farmers and labourers? He is not your chowkidar but that of (businessmen like) Adani and Ambani. He snatches your water, electricity and land and gives it to these 15-20 industrialists," Gandhi alleged.Anil Ambani has rejected Gandhi's allegations and emphasised that the government had no role in Dassault Aviation picking up his company as a local partner.Earlier in the day, the SC made it clear that certain remarks made by Gandhi on the Rafale case verdict were "incorrectly attributed" to the apex court and asked him to give his explanation on or before April 22.The Congress president had on April 10 claimed that the apex court has made it "clear" that Modi "committed a theft".Gandhi alleged Modi, after his five-year rule, has not fulfilled his three key promises of 2014 - creating two crore jobs per year, transferring Rs 15 lakh into people's accounts and giving the right price for farm commodities.He said the middle class will not be burdened with more taxes to fund `Nyay', the minimum income scheme for the poor."Modi promised Rs 15 lakh to all though it was a false promise... from it an idea came to me. I called my think-tank and asked them how much money we can transfer to people directly.They told me we can give Rs 72,000 per year," Gandhi said."Modi made a false promise of Rs 15 lakh, but I am making a real promise that in the next five years Rs 3.60 lakh crore will be given to 20 per cent poor people of the country if the Congress comes to power," Gandhi said."People are asking from where this money will come... it will not come from common people, we will not levy income tax for it, but it will come from industrialists like Mallya, Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi," he said.The three industrialists, presently abroad, are wanted in India for fraud and money laundering.Gandhi said the country will have a separate budget for farmers if his party forms the next government."Earlier we used to have two budgets - one main (general) budget and second Railway budget. But this was scrapped after 2014 (when the BJP came to power)."When we come to power in 2019, we will once again have two separate budgets one national budget and another budget for farmers in which we will tell you in advance what will be MSPs for various products," he said.Gandhi said the Congress will bring a law to ensure that if farmers default on payment of loan instalment, he would not be jailed."Big industrialists do not go behind bars if they default on loan payment, then why should you (farmers) go to jail?Gandhi was campaigning for Congress candidate Paresh Dhanani, the Leader of Opposition in the assembly contesting from the Amreli Lok Sabha constituency.Mahuva, though located in Bhavnagar district, falls in the Amreli Lok Sabha constituency. PTI PD VT RSY GVS