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Four ‘RAFALE’ mantris and only Modi knows what happened in France

By Deepika

New Delhi, July 25: In a fresh salvo at the government over the Rafale deal, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said India has had "four revolving" defence ministers since 2014 and alleged that it gave Prime Minister Narendra Modi "space to personally re-negotiate" the Rafale deal with France.

Rahul Gandhi

"Since 2014, India has had 4 revolving Raksha Mantris. Now we know why. It gave the PM space to personally re-negotiate RAFALE with the French," Gandhi said on Twitter.

Hitting out at the PM for his silence over the aircraft deal, Gandhi said despite having four "Rafale mantris", none of them knew what transpired in France during the negotiations. India had signed an inter-governmental pact with France in September 2016 for procurement of 36 Rafale jets.

India has had 4 'RAFALE Mantris'. But, none of them know what really transpired in France. Except the PM. But he won't speak!" the Congress chief said and tagged an Amul advertisement that had a humorous take on the Rafale issue with a 'Pass or Rafail' tagline.

On Monday, Gandhi tweeted that Rafale deal "smells like a scam" and attacked Defence Minister Sitharaman for flip-flopping over whether its a secret or not to reveal the price per aircraft in the deal.

"Our Defence Minister said she would, but now she won't. She flip flops between "it's-not-a-secret" & "it's-a-BIG-secret. The PM squirms when asked about the price of RAFALE and refuses to look me in the eye. Sure smells like a scam."

During the no-confidence motion debate on Friday, the Congress president alleged that the Rs 58,000 crore deal with France to procure 36 Dassault Rafale jets has led to a big loss to India and benefitted a "certain business group".

Congress on Tuesday moved a privilege notice against Prime Minister Narendra Modi claiming that Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman "deliberately misled the House" on the price of Rafale jets.

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