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Rahul Gandhi launches Rajasthan poll campaign, targets PM again on Rafale


President of the Indian National Congress Party Rahul Gandhi (R) talks with Congress party's national general secretary Ashok Gehlot (L) and party memeber Motilal Vora (C) at the All India Congress Committee offices where Gandhi met the Congress Working Committee in New Delhi on August 4, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / CHANDAN KHANNA

Jaipur : Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Saturday targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi again on the Rafale aircraft deal, accusing him of corruption by helping out his industrialist “friend” Anil Ambani.

Gandhi used the Hindi word “chori”, or theft, when he made the accusation while launching the Congress campaign for the assembly polls later this year in Rajasthan.

He claimed that the deal for the French fighter aircraft had led to the loss of jobs for Indian youths, saying the agreement worked out while the Congress was in power would have ensured their manufacture in India, reports PTI.

The Congress president was addressing party workers at the city’s Ramlila grounds, where he arrived in a special bus from the airport.

Party workers welcomed him at several points along the 13-km route. After the meeting, Gandhi offered prayers at the Govind Devji temple in the city.

He took a jibe at Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah, saying someone who had been a murder accused is now president of the party.

Shah had been named in the Sohrabuddin “fake encounter” case, but was discharged by the trial court.

On the Rafale deal, Rahul Gandhi said Modi had favoured industrialist Anil Ambani.

The reference was to the business that foreign manufacturers are required to bring to Indian firms when a defence deal is signed with the government, under the country’s offset policy.

Ambani has already rejected Gandhi’s allegations and stressed that the government had no role in the French firm Dassault picking up his company as a local partner.

India had signed an agreement with France in 2015 for the procurement of 36 Rafale planes.


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