Cong rally over Rafale

The Assam Congress on Wednesday fielded former minister and its vice-president Prithivi Majhi to take on the BJP government at the Centre for an alleged scam in the Rafale deal.

By Rishu Kalantri in Tinsukia
  • Published 13.09.18
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Congress workers protest in Tinsukia  on Wednesday. Picture by Rishu Kalantri

Tinsukia: The Assam Congress on Wednesday fielded former minister and its vice-president Prithivi Majhi to take on the BJP government at the Centre for an alleged scam in the Rafale deal.

Majhi, who participated in a protest here, said, "The Rafale scam has caused loss to the exchequer, endangered national security and squandered the interests of Hindustan Aeronautical Limited, a public sector undertaking, and benefited crony friends by violating the mandatory provisions of defence procurement procedure."

"The Narendra Modi government has created a web of lies to cover the scam. We have submitted a seven-page memorandum, with several annexures in support of every allegation, to the President through the circle officer. We demand the Rafale deal should be immediately referred to a joint parliamentary committee for investigation into this sordid saga of loss of more than Rs 41,000 crore to the exchequer and summoning of the Prime Minister and defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman before the JPC," he said.

On how they arrived at the loss figure, Majhi said, "The cost of a Rafale jet during the UPA regime in December 2012 was Rs 526.1 crore, which makes it a total of Rs 18,940 crore for 36 planes.

But the Modi government purchased a Rafale jet for Rs 1,670 crore, inflating the deal to Rs 60,145 crore in April 2015."

Former Tinsukia legislator Rajendra Prasad Singh said, "Corruption is right at the top and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who promised na khaunga, na khane dunga (won't be corrupt, won't allow others to be corrupt) is in the dock."

The rally began from Rajiv Bhawan here and culminated at the circle office. Former civic body chairman Subhasis Bhattacharjee, former vice-chairman Hemant Sharma, former development authority chairman Pronob Baruah and hundreds of Congress activists joined the rally.

A similar protest, led by president of the Dibrugarh Congress unit and former minister Etuwa Munda, was held in Dibrugarh.