Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the controversial Rafale deal, saying it took away jobs from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and the youth of Karnataka.
Speaking to media in Bengaluru, Rahul said: “PM Modi said it was a very good deal and I agree with him. It was a very good deal but for his businessman friend who had a total debt of ₹45,000 crore; who has never built aeroplanes in life. They have taken away jobs from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd's and the youngsters of Karnataka. Thousands and thousands of the technical jobs of highest value additions could have come to Karnataka.”
“He (PM Modi) didn’t follow the procedure, he didn’t ask the cabinet committee on security. He paid ₹1,500 crore for the plane which UPA had bought it for ₹700 crore . Of course, it’s a great deal."
On petrol prices, he said that the profit money earned through constant rise increase in taxes was not being used for public welfare. “The policy of Congress party was to give the benefits of the price of petroleum to our people. During the Congress regime, the price of crude oil was $140 a barrel. Today, that price is hovering around $70 per barrel. Huge amount of money is being saved by the government of India. The government of India can choose who to give that money to. The Congress party spent that money in schemes like MNREGA, schemes like farm loan waiver, which were pro people schemes. The BJP has simply taken that lakhs of crores and given it to their friends. So, absolutely the policy is the same but who you give the money to is completely different.”
Earlier, the Congress president slammed Prime Minister Modi for not addressing a single press conference in four years. Hours after addressing a media conference here, Gandhi promised to hold many more such interaction with journalists.
"Enjoyed meeting the regional and national press today in Bengaluru. We had a packed house! I am sorry not everyone got a chance to ask a question due to the paucity of time," Gandhi tweeted.
"But, unlike our Prime Minister who hasn't had a press conference in four years, I will be doing many more of these," he added.