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Conspiracy to benefit PM's 'crony friend' exposed: Cong

New Delhi: The Congress Friday stepped up its attack on the Rafale deal alleging that the government's "complicity, collusion and conspiracy" to benefit Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "crony friend" has been exposed following former French President Francois Hollande's reported comments.

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Hollande was quoted by the French media as purportedly saying that the Indian government proposed Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence as the partner for Dassault Aviation in the Rs 58,000 crore Rafale jet fighter deal and France did not have a choice.

"Cat's out of the Bag!!! Complicity, Collusion & Conspiracy of Modi Govt in denying the PSU, HAL a 30,000 Cr 'offset contract' to benefit PM's crony friend exposed!" Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted.
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In a jibe at Modi, he said the "watchman" is not only just party to corruption, but is the "real culprit".

Congress leader P Chidambaram said, "In the NDA-negotiated Rafale aircraft deal, we have got no aircraft, we have got only lies. What is the new lie that the government will put out in response to Mr Hollande?"

"Defence Minister has been called out again! This time by then President of France, Mr Hollande," he said.

The Congress, from its official Twitter handle, said the former French President had exposed "the web of lies" spun by the Modi government.

"President (former) Francois Hollande should also enlighten us how the price went up from 590 crore in 2012 to 1,690 crore in 2015 per Rafale fighter jet? Escalation of a mere 1,100 crore. I am sure the Euro equivalent would not be a problem to calculate," Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari tweeted.

Another Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi alleged that "Rafale Minister" and "Reliance Defence's Publicity Minister" colluded to throw HAL out of the deal and hand it over to their dear friend.

"National Security can go take a hike. Yaara Teri Yaari, Desh se zyaada Pyaari," she said.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the procurement of a batch of 36 Rafale jets after holding talks with then French President Hollande on April 10, 2015 in Paris.

The opposition has been accusing the government of choosing Reliance Defence over state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) to benefit the private firm though it did not have any experience in the aerospace sector.



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