During the 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign, the then PM candidate of the BJP Narendra Modi cried foul about the alleged scams of the UPA regime and vowed that his party would give honest and corruption-free government. Afflicted by anti-incumbency sting, the people believed the propaganda supported by the corporate tycoons and the BJP got absolute majority, a feat performed by any party after three decades. The PM reiterated the slogan, “Na Khaonga na Khane donga” and kept repeating it to show that his government is corruption free and honest one. The second part of the slogan was demolished when Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and others fled the country defrauding banks of thousands of crores. All efforts of the government failed to bring them back to face trial in the country. Then the scam in the Rafale fighter jet deal with the French government surfaced and political parties led by the Congress alleged that the deal was not above the board and it was meant to benefit a corporate friend of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It was the collapse of the first part of the slogan. The charge was point blank rejected by the government which said it was not in any way involved if the Reliance Defence was made service provider in the deal. This defence of the government fell flat when the former French president Francois Hollande said that it was the Indian government which proposed the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence as service provider to Dassualt Aviantion, the company selling the Rafale jets to India. In an interview to a Paris-based investigative news website called Mediapart, he said, “We did not have a word to say about that subject. The Indian government suggested this service provider, and Dassault negotiated with Ambani. We did not have a choice, we took the interlocutor which was suggested to us”.
It was the truth direct from the horse mouth. It was Hollande who convinced about the striking power of the Rafale jets to Narndra Modi on April 10, 2015 in Paris and the president and the Prime Minister finalized the deal worth Rs 59000 crores for 36 jet fighters. The deal was discussed by the Indian and French authorities during the UPA regime for 126 jets, the quantity that was required by the Indian Army, but it could not be finalized. Now how the NDA government agreed to buy only 36 jets while the requirement is 126 is a fact the reasons of which are known only to the persons at the helm of affairs. While a public sector company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited(HAL) was suggested as service provider by the UPA government, the NDA regime replaced it with a private corporate the Reliance Defence, a newly set up unit which has no experience whatsoever in defence equipment, only to provide huge benefits to a favourite corporate and that too compromising the top most factor of national security. This shows the ugliest and anti-national aspect of this corrupt deal. And here is what the PM has to say.
After fielding the Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to defend him, and himself keeping a long silence, the Prime Minister on September 25, while addressing a workers meeting in Madhya Pradesh said the Congress was trying an international alliance to oust him. The grand old party was not getting allies in India. He said he wanted to fight elections on development but the Congress was engaged in mud-slinging. He should know that it was the case of the biggest scam of his government in which he himself is allegedly involved. If 2014 elections were fought on the corruption issue then why Congress should not raise the issue of corruption. Bofors was a very small issue compared to the present scam. If the Bofors forced the exit of the Rajiv Gandhi government in 1989 election, then the history may very likely repeat itself in 2019, exactly 30 years later. If the claims of the BJP are correct, the government should opt for the Joint Parliamentary Committee probe which is the demand of the whole opposition.