Rafale deal: Ambani asks Congress leaders to stop derogatory comments
Facing allegations of getting undue benefits from the multi-billion dollar Rafale deal, Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group has sent legal notices to several Congress leaders asking them to "cease and desist" from leveling such charges. The Congress leaders said they will not be scared or silenced by such notices, which have been sent to several spokespersons and other leaders of the party. Here's more.
The Congress leaders said the notices have been issued by Mumbai-based advocates to Randeep Surjewala, Ashok Chavan, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, and Sunil Jakhar among others. The cautionary notice has been served on behalf of three group firms, Reliance Infrastructure, Reliance Defense, and Reliance Aerostructure Ltd.
Ambani recently wrote to Congress president Rahul Gandhi on the deal saying his party has been "misinformed, misdirected and misled" by "malicious vested interests and corporate rivals" on the issue. Gandhi has been attacking the government for allegedly inking the deal at a much higher price than the one the previous UPA regime had negotiated to benefit one businessman.
Speaking to reporters in Chandigarh, Congress MP Sunil Jakhar said he has received the notice asking him to refrain from "making allegations" on the Rafale deal. Jakhar, however, asserted that the Rafale matter was a serious national security issue for his party and alleged the legal notice was the result of a nexus between the BJP and the corporate world.
Have received a legal 'Cease Desist' notice on #RafaleDeal from @reliancegroup— Sunil Jakhar (@sunilkjakhar) August 21, 2018
Mr. Anil Ambani, I reiterate, my aeroplane making skills (as demonstrated in Lok Sabha) are better than yours. pic.twitter.com/xFlID5ET6f
Congress spokesperson Shaktising Gohil said he has received two such notices. One was received earlier, and another one was received yesterday, which claim he has caused a loss to the company (Reliance) to the extent of Rs. 50,000 crore. "I had sent a reply saying whatever has been stated by the Congress is on the basis of documents in public domain," he said.
Another Congress leader Jaiveer Shergill has also received the notice. "My reply - I am a Congress soldier, a proud Punjabi who does not get scared with such notices. Taxpayers of this country deserve to know why they paid extra Rs. 42,000 crore. The fact that Anil Ambani sent us a notice exposes that there is something fishy in the Rafale deal," he said.
The notices have been served amid a month-long offensive planned by the Congress on the Rafale deal under which top party leaders will be holding press conferences and demonstrations across the country from August 25 to September 6 targeting PM Narendra Modi and his government.