French judge to probe Rafale deal, political battle begins in India
New Delhi : The Rafale jet "corruption and favouritism" controversy resurfaced in Indi after a French news website reported that a French judge has been appointed to lead a "highly sensitive" judicial probe.
Congress demanded investigation in the Rafale deal, citing the news report. "Corruption in the Rafale deal has come out clearly now. The stand of the Congress party and Rahul Gandhi has been vindicated today after the French government ordered a probe," Mr Surjewala said.
Meanwhile, France's National Financial Prosecutors' Office has said that they will look into alleged corruption in the sale of Rafale jets to India, news agency AFP reported.
"When the French government has accepted that there is corruption in the deal, should a JPC (joint parliamentary committee) probe be not held in the country where the corruption took place?" Mr Surjewala said.
During the 2019 election campaign, Congress had accused the BJP government of alleged corruption in the Rafale deal with France. Party leader Rahul Gandhi had targeted PM Modi at his campaigns over the Rafale row.
On Saturday, Rahul Gandhi and sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted again over the controversy.
"Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. - Lord Buddha," Priyanka Gandhi tweeted, while her brother took a swipe at the Prime Minister using the hashtag "#RafaleScam".
The BJP retorted and termed the Congress's latest round of attacks over the Rafale deal as "lies". "The way Rahul Gandhi is behaving, it will not be an exaggeration to say that he is being used as a pawn by competing companies. He has been lying right from the beginning on the issue. Probably, he is acting as an agent or some member of Gandhi family has been for a competing company," BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra told reporters on Saturday.
Mr Patra presented a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General and a Supreme Court verdict, both of which had found nothing wrong in the defence deal between India and France, to reject allegations of the Congress.