Modi government pro-rich, anti-poor: Congress leader

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Shillong : Reiterating the party's demand for a JPC probe into the Rafale jet deal, Congress General Secretary Gaurav Gogoi on Tuesday dubbed the Modi government at the Centre "pro-rich and anti-poor".

"Rafale deal is a copy book case of compromising of national interest, causing loss to the exchequer and promoting crony capitalism at the cost of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited," he told journalists here.

The deal compromises our defence needs and has been finalised following the personal intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to benefit a private company, he claimed.

The Congress MP from Assam said that "the BJP-led government's decisions were helping the rich and the corrupt... Demonetisation was supposed to be an attack on the corrupt but it benefited the corrupt."

Recalling that the previous Congress-led UPA government had disclosed the price of Dassault Aviation's Mirage fighter aircraft, Sukhois, and other defence purchases in Parliament, Gogoi wanted to know what are the Prime Minister and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman hiding. "Does the refusal to disclose the price not reek of a scam?"

If the government has nothing to hide, why is it afraid of a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe, the Congress leader added.

Expressing concern over the deal for supply of only 36 fighter jets, he said: "Does it not compromise national security and defeat emergency purchase argument of the government?"