The war of words over the Rafale fighter jet deal continued on Friday with the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group hitting back on Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s statement that Dassault Aviation paid Rs 284 crore to Reliance Defence as the “first instalment of kickbacks” and that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was having “sleepless nights” fearing action in case of a probe into the deal.
Accusing the Congress president of indulging in “blatant lies” and “distorting” facts to mount an “unwarranted” campaign against the company for political gains, Reliance, in a statement, said, the company and its chief Ambani were “continuously being dragged into the political battle in view of the upcoming state and general elections”.
“The Congress Party has today once again resorted to blatant lies and distorted facts to mount an unwarranted campaign of calumny and falsehoods against the Reliance Group and its Chairman Anil Ambani personally,” the company said in its statement.
“Congress’s allegation that Anil Ambani got contracts worth Rs 30,000 crore is an attempt to mislead public for political gains,” it added.
The Congress has been alleging that the government had put pressure on Dassault Aviation to make Reliance its offset partner for the multi-billion dollar deal. Stepping up the attack against PM Modi during a press conference held earlier in the day, Rahul had alleged that CBI chief Alok Verma was removed as he wanted to probe the case. He called it an “open and shut case and there is only one man who has done corruption”.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court directed the Centre to provide the pricing details of the 36 Rafale jets India is purchasing from France in a “sealed cover” within 10 days while maintaining that the “strategic and confidential” information need not be disclosed.
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