Government making things disappear: RaGa speaks on "stolen" Rafale documents
Stepping up his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said the job of current government was to "make things disappear". RaGa held a press conference a day after the government told Supreme Court important documents related to Rafale deal were "stolen" from Ministry of Defense. The opposition leader said the BJP-led government only wants to protect PM Modi.
Attorney General KK Venugopal, who represented the Centre in the top court on Wednesday, said files were "stolen" from MoD. The government threatened to take action under the Official Secrets Act, against two publications, The Hindu and ANI, which ran the story on the basis of "stolen documents". The court was also informed that an investigation into the "theft" was underway.
The documents which The Hindu published claimed Prime Minister's Office (PMO) ran parallel negotiations with the French side for the multi-crore Rafale deal. The MoD reportedly raised objections. Referring to the documents, RaGa said Centre's admission that documents are "missing" implies they were "authentic". "Documents clearly state that Narendra Modi conducted parallel negotiation," RaGa said while adding an investigation should take place.
"It's a blatant case of corruption, it is clearly stated that the PM of India is carrying out a parallel negotiation. Why should there not be a criminal investigation? If PM is not guilty, why doesn't he himself agree for an investigation," asked RaGa.
RaGa said PM Modi performed a "bypass surgery" in the Rafale deal to benefit Anil Ambani. "It is now the court's job and the government's job to ensure that justice is done... You can charge anything you want on anyone, but also press charges on the Prime Minister," RaGa said. Earlier, RaGa tweeted, "Trail of corruption started and ended with him (PM Modi)."
पहले राफेल का पैसा चोरी हुआ,— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) March 7, 2019
और अब फाईल चोरी हो गई।
FIR तो मोदी जी पर होनी चाहिए,
पर FIR कर रहे हैं, चोरी पकड़ने वाले मीडिया की।
इसे कहते हैं, ‘अंधेर नगरी, चौपट राजा’। pic.twitter.com/G5iatUL8wM
Notably, RaGa wasn't the only who questioned Centre. Former CM of Uttar Pradesh Mayawati tweeted secret files were "stolen" under PM Modi's watch. "Very strange & irresponsible chowkidari. Is national security & interest in the safe hands," she wrote. SP President Akhilesh Yadav concurred. He wrote on Twitter, that series of events have confused BJP workers as they don't know what to campaign for.
Soon after RaGa attacked PM Modi over missing files, BJP shot back. Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad asked if RaGa would be convinced only after getting a certificate from Pakistan. "Will Rahul Gandhi need a certificate about Rafale from Pakistan. In that, we cannot help. Of late he believes Pakistan more than Indian forces and its leaders," the senior BJP leader added.
"Totally condemn the blatant lies of Rahul Gandhi... He doesn't believe the Indian Air Force, he doesn't believe the SC, doesn't believe the CAG. He is inadvertently or deliberately playing into hands of Rafale competitors," Prasad said.