Scared of debating corruption? Rahul Gandhi teases PM Modi

After arrest of 3 for helping a Reliance company siphon money abroad and new disclosures on Modi Govt’s waivers to Dassault in offset contract for Rafale, the challenge assumes significance

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter

NH Web Desk

Congress President once again invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to engage in a one-to-one debate on corruption. In a tweet on Tuesday, Rahul Gandhi teasingly said,

Dear PM, scared of debating me on corruption?

I can make it easier for you.

Let’s go open book, so you can prepare:

1. RAFALE+Anil Ambani

2. Nirav Modi

3. Amit Shah+Demonetisation

Earlier on Sunday the Congress President had challenged the Prime Minister to a debate on corruption.

“You can run Mr Modi but you can’t hide. Your karma is about to catch up with you. The country can hear it in your voice. Truth is a powerful thing. I challenge you to a debate on corruption,” he had tweeted after the Prime Minister lost his cool during an interview on ABP News.

Asked by one of the two interviewers to respond to the allegation that he had benefited Anil Ambani in the Rafale deal, the Prime Minister had accused the TV channel of bias and having no faith in institutions like the Supreme Court and the CAG, which he obviously believes, had given him a clean chit.

The Congress President’s challenge comes in the wake of yet another expose in The Hindu, which reported on Tuesday that the Modi Government and the Cabinet Committee on Security had granted exemptions to Dassault and to another French company in the offset contract to the firm of Anil Ambani.

The two companies were exempted from following the provisions laid down in the Standard Contract Document of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP-2013).

Ironically, provisions in the DPP-2013 prohibited the use of undue influence and ‘Agency/Agents’ Commission’. The provisions involved penalties in case of transgressions.

It is ironical because in the Augusta Helicopter case, the UPA Government had scrapped the contract with the Italian company once it was reported that it had used middlemen and paid bribes to secure the order. Its security deposit was confiscated by the Government of India, which recovered more money from the firm than what it had paid.

But the Modi Government in 2016 waived off the conditions which could have made the French companies liable for similar penalties.

Rahul Gandhi’s challenge to the PM for a debate also follows the arrest of three men in Netherland for helping a Reliance company to launder money via a Singapore firm.

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Published: 09 Apr 2019, 5:42 PM