New Delhi: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Friday said the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) was directly involved in conducting negotiations with the French side on the Rafale deal and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “guilty” in the scam.
It is an open and shut case, Gandhi said, mounting a fresh attack on the government on the fighter jet deal following a media report.
This came after the PM’s ‘Rafale’ attack, and Gandhi called the forces his pride, in a press conference.
The PM had accused the Congress of purposely keeping the IAF and Army weak by delaying fighter jets and even basic equipment purchase during its times. The PM had told the Congress, “You don’t want the IAF to be strong. By seeking to sabotage the Rafale deal you are favouring some foreign arms dealers, who are they?”
Rahul alleged it’s now in black and white that the PM bypassed the negotiation process and weakened the negotiations of the Indian team in Rafale.
The PM was guilty in the Rafale deal, Rahul said.
“I want to tell the generals of the Air Force that the PM has stolen Rs 30,000 crore, he’s a thief, I don’t want to use strong words but I’m forced to use these. I cannot think of a better word. The truth is that the PM is a thief,” said Rahul.
On a question about the PM’s yesterday’s remark that the thief is scolding the watchman, Rahul said, “So is the PM suffering from dual personality…he’s thief one day and watchman another day…is he schizophrenic?”
Ayodhya on high alert following intelligence inputs
Ayodhya: Amid VIP movements, Ayodhya has been put on high alert soon after intelligence inputs indicated a possible terror attack in the city.
“We have put more force into action. The force has been alerted. Also, intelligence officials in the civil dress have come here. They are checking all hotels, restaurants and railway stations. The police force is vigilant and keeping a track of all the movements,” Anil Kumar Sisodia, Superintendent of Police City, told ANI.
This comes ahead of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s visit to Ayodhya on Sunday along with his party MPs.
According to reports, the security has also been heightened keeping in mind the hearing on 2005 Ram Janmabhoomi attack on June 18.
Seven died while cleaning hotel sewer in Vadodara
Vadodara: Seven persons, including four sanitation workers, died due to asphyxiation on Saturday while cleaning sewer of a hotel in Gujarat’s Vadodara district, officials said.
The incident happened at a hotel in Fartikui village in Dabhoi tehsil, about 30 km from Vadodara city. Three employees of the hotel were also among those killed.
“When one sanitation worker failed to come out of the manhole, others went inside. All of them died due to asphyxiation,” district collector Kiran Zaveri told PTI.
Manmohan retires from Rajya Sabha
New Delhi: For the first time in 28 years, former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s name ceased to be part of the list of members of the Rajya Sabha on its Web site, and was included in the list of former members of Parliament.
With the Congress lacking the numbers in the Assam legislature to ensure his re-election, 86-year-old Dr Singh retired from the Rajya Sabha.
Dr Singh, then finance minister in the P V Narasimha Rao government, had debuted in the House on October 1, 1991, from Assam and represented the state for five consecutive terms. He was the leader of the House during his 10 years as PM, and leader of the Opposition from 1998 to 2004.The former PM would now need to wait for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, an ally of the Congress, to send him to the Rajya Sabha next month or until the next biennial elections in the Upper House in April 2020 when 54 MPs retire.
Five Rajya Sabha members from Tamil Nadu retire in July. The DMK, along with its allies, has the strength in the state legislature to get at least three elected to the Rajya Sabha. It has promised one seat to MDMK chief Vaiko.
However, sources said the DMK and the Congress have not had any discussions on the issue.
The Congress could also hope to send Dr Singh to the Upper House from Gujarat if elections to fill the two vacancies from the state take place together.
The vacancies are on account of two Bharatiya Janata Party Rajya Sabha members from Gujarat, Amit Anilchandra Shah and Smriti Zubin Irani, being elected to the Lok Sabha. Shah has debuted in the Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar while Irani is the Lok Sabha member from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress’s numbers in the Gujarat assembly would ensure the party wins one of the two seats, the other going to the BJP, if elections to the two seats are held jointly.