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Congress holds protest rally in Tripura, demand Prime Minister to go public with Rafale deal

Opposition Congress Thursday organized a protest rally till Tripura Raj Bhavan in Agartala and submitted a memorandum to the office of Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki over alleged scam of Rs. 1.30 lakh crore in purchase of Rafale aircrafts from France.

It is the third agitation on the issue in North East India by Youth Congress after Assam and Manipur.

Addressing a press conference at Pradesh Congress Bhavan here this evening, party president Birajit Sinha said the movement was jointly organized by Congress and its frontal organizations like Youth Congress and National Students Union of India (NSUI).

Nearly a thousand supporters joined the ‘Bharat Bachao Jana Andolan’ rally which started from Pradesh Congress Bhavan and ended in front of Old Raj Bhavan.

Indian Youth Congress president Keshav Chand Yadav, IYC vice president Srinivas B.V. and other leaders also joined the agitation today.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Indian Youth Congress president Keshav Chand Yadav said later this evening that the Rafale deal was the biggest scam in history of India and claimed Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a direct part in it.

“We believe the Prime Minister is a party (Bhagidaar) in the scam. Price of the aircrafts have tripled and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitaraman is silent about the whole issue. We demand that the Prime Minister explains it to the people of India”, Yadav said.

The agitators met an official from the Governor’s House and handed him a memorandum with the demand.

The Rafale deal was first fixed by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in December, 2012. The price of the Rafale jets, which would be inducted into the Indian Air Force, were fixed at Rs. 526.10 crores per aircraft. An international bid was floated for 126 aircrafts at the price.

After BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government came to power in 2014, Prime Minister Modi announced emergency “off the shelf” purchase of 36 Rafale aircrafts in Paris for Rs. 60,145 crores.

Earlier in August, All India Mahila Congress president Sushmita Dev joined an agitation on the issue in Tripura and accused Prime Minister Modi of being the principal benefactor of the alleged Rafale scam.

Indian Youth Congress president Keshav Yadav also said Congress would be holding similar agitations in different states of the country.


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