No Quattrocchi ‘mama’ or Michel uncle in our defence deals, says Narendra Modi as he attacks Congress over Rafale deal

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DECEMBER 16, 2018

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a public meeting in Rae Bareli on December 16, 2018. Photo: Twitter/PIB_India

At a public meeting in Rae Bareli, the Prime Minister said in Congress’ book even the Supreme Court was “a liar”.

Two days after the Supreme Court verdict on the Rafale deal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 16 said the Congress was repeatedly lying over the issue as it was “agitated” by the “transparency and honesty” of the defence deals under the NDA government.

In comparison, Mr. Modi said, “some videshi mama or videshi uncle” always popped up in all defence deals done by the Congress post-independence, referring to controversial foreign figures associated with the Bofors scam and the Agusta Westland Chopper case, Italian Ottavio Quattrocchi and Christian Michel, respectively.

Mr. Modi said soon after Mr. Michel, a British-national charged in the Agusta Westland chopper’s purchase case, was arrested and brought to India recently, the Congress immediately “sent a lawyer” to “save him” in court.

“I want to know from the Congress, is this why they are so agitated? And speaking lies after lies. Because in the defence deals being done by the BJP government, there is no Quattrocchi mama or Christian Michel uncle,” said Mr. Modi.

Attacking the Congress for questioning the Supreme Court verdict, Mr. Modi said the party was “creating an atmosphere of distrust” towards the judiciary, and in their book even the apex court was “a liar”.

The Prime Minister’s attack on the Congress came at a public meeting in Rae Bareli, the Lok Sabha constituency of Sonia Gandhi.  He accused the Congress party of spreading lies over Rafale and accused it of trying to weaken the armed forces and playing with national security.

Mr. Modi quoted from Ramcharitramanas to press his point: “Jhuthai lena, jhuthai dena, jhutai bhojan, jhooth chabena,” meaning that some people only accept lies, deliver lies, eat lies and only chew on lies. Hinting at the Congress, Mr. Modi said the party followed the lines like a mantra for life.

“And for such people, the country’s Defence Ministry is a liar, so are the Defence Minister, officers of the Air Force and even the French government. Now the country’s highest court too is a liar for them. But friends, truth does not need adornments. And no matter how much they are spoken, lies do not have a life,” Mr. Modi said.

While Mr. Modi started his speech by listing the works done by his government for Rae Bareli and ended it by questioning the Congress’ attitude towards farmers, the bulk of his rhetoric was focused on the Rafale issue and national security.

He said there were two emerging narratives in the country — one that stood for “truth and security” like his own government, which was trying to increase the might of the army and the on the other side, the one which stood those for who “want to weaken the country at any cost”.

Accusing the Congress and other rivals of the BJP of standing with the forces who didn’t want the Indian armed forces to become strong and for receiving support from other countries,  Mr. Modi said, “What are the reasons that some leaders here are speaking such a language that claps can be heard in Pakistan?”

Mr. Modi said the country would never “forget or forgive” what he alleged as “mistreatment of the armed forces” by previous Congress governments. The Prime Minister said that even after the Kargil war, the Congress for 10 years did not fulfill the Air Force’s need for modern aircraft, or purchased the 1.86 lakh bullet-proof jackets required by the Army in 2009. It was only in 2016, two years after the Modi government came to power, that 50,000 vests were purchased and in April 2018, an order for the full quantity was placed, the PM said.

In matters of national security, needs of the Army and honour of jawans, the BJP government only keeps national interest and public interest in mind, Mr. Modi said, adding that it would take weeks to count the sins of the Congress in the defence sector alone.

Also, the Prime Minister launched several projects in Rae Bareli.


Courtesy/Source: The Hindu