Rafale Deal: Loose talk sans proof must be eschewed

Kamlendra Kanwar
New Delhi | Updated :
14 November 2018, 03:39 PM
Rafale Deal: Loose talk sans proof must be eschewed (Photo: Dassault Aviation)
Rafale Deal: Loose talk sans proof must be eschewed (Photo: Dassault Aviation)

It is a cold reality that Congress president Rahul Gandhi has gone berserk with malice. In his lust for power, he has thrown all propriety and caution to the winds and is being egged on by sycophants to whom badmouthing the country’s prime minister is commonplace.

The language he has been using against Prime Minister Narendra Modi is unbecoming of a prime political leader considering that he or his party have not been able to adduce any concrete evidence to support the charge that Modi is a ‘thief’ and that he defrauded the nation in the Rafale fighter jet deal.

Politics is a dirty game but there still are certain norms of behaviour and sobriety in statements that separate the wheat from the chaff. Rahul is, indeed, crossing all limits of decency and must be stopped because he is contributing to driving politics to gutter level.

French president Emmanuel Macron had clarified soon after the Rafale controversy hit the headlines that there was no question of any kickbacks in the deal which the French signed with India. If the statement of a dignitary was to be doubted, the Congress party should have come up with concrete evidence and documents to support their claim.

Also Read | Modi government opposes judicial review of Rafale deal in Supreme Court

Instead, Rahul acted as he had done when on the eve of a Parliament session months after Modi became premier, he had declared that he had proof of Modi’s role in corruption which he would unravel before the public.

That claim ended in a whimper as Rahul produced no evidence at all and showed how he tilts at windmills and grows wild with unsubstantiated allegations. Rahul’s stock in terms of credibility and doing meaningful research before speaking out was never high but he gets away with it every time he does so.

Within his own party, there is no one to question him for fear of being thrown out. Indeed, the propensity of his partymen to accept everything that he says, though private they grumble about it, is regrettable.

With the general elections approaching, the voices are getting shriller. Recently, Rahul waxed eloquent on the details of the French Dassault company’s joint venture with the Anil Ambani Reliance group being a pack of lies.

Joining issue with him, the Dassault Aviation CEO Eric Trapper said emphatically that he (Eric) does not lie and declared categorically that on pricing of Rafale jets committed to India there was no wrongdoing and certainly no lie.

Also Read | Co-accused’s statements hold no value: Congress on Dassault CEO’s Rafale deal clarification

Trapper said the present aircraft are cheaper by nine per cent and that the price of Rafale in flyaway condition is less in the 36 aircraft contract than the price in the 126 aircraft contact that the UPA had negotiated. The 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft contract was only on paper. It had never materialised like so many of UPA’s plans.

As a consequence, while our enemies enhanced their fighter jet capability, India was overtaken and lost out in the crucial battle to acquire this potent weapon swiftly.

Rahul said in a media conference on November 2 that Trapper had lied about the Rafale deal to protect the Modi government. He alleged that Dassault had invested Rs 284 crore in a loss-making company promoted by Anil Ambani which was used to procure land in Nagpur. “It is clear that Dassault CEO is lying. If an inquiry starts on this, Modi is not going to survive it. Guaranteed,” he said.

Such has been the level of discourse by Rahul Gandhi! It is not as though kickbacks are unheard of in defence deals but establishing the culpability of the perpetrators requires them to be nailed with evidence that is incontrovertible. Rahul and his henchmen have failed to do that and there cannot be any justification for such loose talk, especially when the high personage one accusing has rare
credentials of integrity.

Also Read | Rafale Deal: We chose Ambani by ourselves, decreased price by 9 per cent, says Dassault CEO

As the elections approach, the cadres would seek to emulate the bad behaviour and sensationalist statements of their leaders. Someone somewhere has to put a stop to this. The BJP bigwigs too are no saints. Its leaders cross limits from time to time. A sobering touch is the need of the hour. Leaders of principal parties must take the lead.

First Published: Wednesday, November 14, 2018 03:12 PM
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