New Delhi: With the Centre threatening a probe over stealing of “privileged documents” related to Rafale deal from the Defence Ministry, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday demanded an investigation against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for conducting parallel negotiations and delaying the delivery of the French jets to India.
Addressing the media in New Delhi, Gandhi said that the stolen documents clearly state the Prime Minister was responsible for the delayed delivery and inflated price of the jets.
“The government now says it will investigate the media for the Rafale files being stolen. But the one (Modi) who conducted parallel investigation why will he not be investigated?
“If the documents have been stolen, that means they are authentic and they clearly state that parallel negotiations were carried out by the Prime Minister, the price of the jets were inflated and the delivery of the jets was delayed.
“Let there be investigation about the documents but at the same time also investigate the Prime Minister’s role in the Rafale (deal),” said Gandhi.
Referring to the Centre’s arguments in the Supreme Court during hearing of petitions seeking recall of its December 14 verdict giving a “clean chit” on the purchase of the Rafale jets, Gandhi said the sole objective of the government and its machinery was to defend the “chowkidar” (watchman).
With the government rejecting the Congress party’s persistent demand for a probe by a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), Gandhi asked why Modi was afraid of investigation into the deal.
“Why isn’t the Prime Minister allowing an investigation against himself if he is not guilty? Why did he refuse a JPC? If there is nothing wrong in the deal, then let there be an investigation. Modi should say he is not afraid of any probe and allow investigation into the deal,” asserted Gandhi.
Citing the documents, Gandhi said that the Indian negotiating team clearly stated that the Prime Minister carried out parallel negotiations to enrich his industrialist crony by Rs 30,000 crore in the deal.
“It’s a blatant case of corruption, it is clearly stated that the Prime Minister of India carried out a parallel negotiation. Why should there not be a criminal investigation?
“The problem in India is, there is a criminal investigation only on people who oppose Modi,” said Gandhi, who a day earlier had called for an FIR against him saying there was enough evidence to prosecute him for corruption in the deal.