Modi government is ‘anti-poor’: Gogoi

Modi government is ‘anti-poor’: Gogoi
Congress MP from Assam Gourav Gogoi along with MPCC president and others speaking to media persons at Shillong Congress Bhawan on Tuesday.
Correspondent Shillong, Sep 4 | Publish Date: 9/4/2018 11:34:33 AM IST

Mounting pressure on the BJP government to institute a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe the Rafale deal, the Congress on Tuesday fired fresh salvo describing the Narendra Modi-led government as “pro-rich” and “anti-poor”.

Hitting out at the BJP-led NDA government, the opposition Congress asked Prime Narendra Modi to explain to the people as to why an extra amount of Rs. 41,205 crore was being paid from public money to purchase Rafale jet fighters.

“Rafale scam is a copy book case of squandering ‘national interest’, causing loss to public exchequer and the promoting a culture of ‘crony capitalism’ at the  cost of  Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL),” Congress General Secretary, Gaurav Gogoi told journalists at the Congress headquarters here in Meghalaya.

He also questioned the government how HAL was by-passed and ‘offset-contract’ worth Rs. 30,000 crore was given to Reliance Defence Limited that had zero experience of manufacturing fighter aircrafts.

“We want to know the details (Rafale deal). If they (government) have nothing to hide, why are they afraid of JPC and why have they not given any official statements,” he said.

Recalling that the previous Congress-led UPA government had disclosed the price of Dassault Aviation made MIRAGE aircraft, Sukhoi aircraft and other Defence purchases on the floor of the parliament, Gogoi asked, “What is the Prime Minister and Defence Minister (Nirmala Sitharaman), hiding? Does the refusal to tell the price not reek of a scam?”

Gogoi said the UPA government had entered into a contract to acquire 126 Rafale aircraft - 18 of them in fly away condition and the remaining 108 aircraft to be made in India by the Public Sector Undertaking Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in Bengaluru, under a transfer of technology agreement with a French company, Dassault Aviation.

Expressing concern on reducing the number of fighter jets as required by Indian Air Force from 126 to 36, Gogoi said, “With the looming threats from China and Pakistan, does it not compromise the national security and defeat the emergency purchase argument.”

“This deal speaks of betraying our country’s security. It speaks of crony capitalism of a private company, and it speaks of looting public tax payers’ money.  There is betrayal and compromise of our defence need and this has the personal intervention of Prime Minister Modi and a private company has benefited from Prime Minister’s decision,” the Congress leader added.

Describing the Narendra Modi-led government as “pro-rich” and “anti-poor,” the Congress MP from Assam, said, “BJP’s government’s decisions are helping the rich and the corrupt. Demonetisation which was supposed to be an attack on the corrupt has benefited the corrupt.”

“None of their poll promises made in 2014 have been fulfilled by them. Our young people continues to be unemployed and are frustrated, and our society known for unity and diversity is being divided and fractured by the BJP,” Gogoi said.

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