Commander In Thief: In Rafale row, Rahul hurls Hollande bomb again
Rahul Gandhi spent the weekend using an explosive French media report on the Rafale deal as ammunition against Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, and he's not stopping now. The words "Commander-in-Thief" featured in a Monday afternoon tweet on the Congress boss's Twitter page.
But what's all this about, you ask? Here's the gist of it: Mediapart, a French media house, published a story Friday that quoted France's former president -- Francois Hollande -- as saying the Indian government "proposed" Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence as Rafale manufacturer Dassault Aviation's Indian partner. "We didn't have any say in the matter," Hollande said. "We didn't have a choice in the matter; we took the interlocutor who was given to us."
Hollande was the president of France when the Rafale deal was signed.
"The sad truth about India's Commander in Thief," Rahul Gandhi tweeted today, attaching this video.
The sad truth about India's Commander in Thief. pic.twitter.com/USrxqlJTWeRahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) September 24, 2018
Over the weekend, Gandhi called for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe, and accused Prime Minister Modi and Anil Ambani of carrying out a Rs 1,30,000 crore "surgical strike" on India's defence forces. At a press conference on Saturday, he said Hollande had effectively called Modi a thief.
Others had plenty to say, too. Dassault Aviation said it chose to partner with Reliance. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told the news agency ANI that there was a "perfect coincidence" between this tweet from Rahul Gandhi and Hollande's remarks. He also wrote a blog post.
And Francois Hollande himself had more to say. Here's an extract from an article in LeMonde, which describes what the former French president told Agence France Presse, a newswire, in Montreal.