Describing the charge of Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his party over the Rafale deal as “completely false”, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday said that it was based on complete “commercial interests” and to “promote” the competitor.
Addressing the media in Parliament complex, he said: “Today a media house has come out with a document which says a strategy paper seized during the raids at Italian middleman Guido Haschke’s residence and offices has revealed that Christian Michel and Haschke worked on a plan to place Rafale’s prime competitor in the win zone.”
He said that one of of the middlemen Michel, a British national who is under detention, and others were also pushing the case for Eurofighter, which was in competition with Rafale.
He claimed that the documents which have been shown were “explosive” in nature.
“How to change the deal for the Eurofighter,” Prasad said, adding, “I will like to read four lines.
“This man should have worked in the MOD (Ministry of Defence) and know well on first name basis and not just the MOD, key bureaucrats and the minister but also the Prime Minister, Finance Minister and the leading Family,” he said quoting the news report.
Slamming the Gandhi family, the Law Minister said: “Why is it that the leading family namely the Gandhi family appear in documents after documents, be it the AgustaWestland, be it the Air Force fighter planes for Rafale and their competitor Eurofighter?”
He said available documents in the public domain raised serious suspicious circumstances of the intention of Rahul Gandhi and Congress.
The Minister alleged that “it is too well known that the Congress party is never happy unless there is deal in the defence deal”.
“Be it Bofors, be it submarine or be it AgustaWestland and now in case of Rafale also this is evident that there was a close proximity of the middlemen who were pushing the case of Eurofighter in contrast to Rafale.
“In this light the entire bogie of falsehood, entire campaign of canard unleashed by Rahul Gandhi in particular and the Congress is completely false and based upon completely commercial interests,” he said.
Firing salvos at the Congress chief, Prasad said: “Please explain what proximity you and your family have with Michel and Hasche? How there for sure that through your influence they can tilt the deal in favour of Eurofighter?
“Why is it despite of seven-eight year of filtration, tender process and test when Rafale was found to be the lowest tender the Dassault company, suddenly your previous government stopped the reconsideration?
“And how long will you keep on playing with national security?” he questioned.
He accused Rahul Gandhi and the Congress of compromising national security and in many ways compromising the morale of the forces.
“I would like a proper answer of all this. The entire bogie of falsehood campaign against Rafale is now clear it is actuated by extraneous interest to promote the competitor,” he added.