Rahul meets Macron, Rafale deal not discussed
New Delhi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi met French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday and discussed with him issues that affect liberal democracies including fake news. Gandhi was accompanied by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, when he met with the visiting French president.
The Congress chief, however, did not raise the Rafale fighter jet deal with Macron, party sources said.
The Congress has been attacking the BJP government on the defence deal, accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of causing loss to the state exchequer by buying the fighter jets at inflated rate. "Yesterday, I met with French President @EmmanuelMacron. We discussed a range of issues common to our liberal democracies, including fake news.
"I look forward to building on this meeting and to collaborating with him on global challenges such as Climate Change," Gandhi tweeted today, posting a picture with Singh and Macron.
Asked about the meeting and why Gandhi did not raise the Rafale deal issue, Congress communications incharge Randeep Surjewala said the party presidents always meet visiting heads of state. The Congress has a history of maintaining a relationship with visiting heads of state in national interest.
"As far as the Rafale deal is concerned, it has six serious flaws which go to the root of the matter and is pointing towards a brewing scam in procurement of aircraft and compromise on national security," he alleged. The Congress leader said Defence Minister refused to disclose the price for the fighter jets citing threat to national security, but Dassault Aviation in its Annual Report of 2016 as also of 2017 says that they sold 36 Rafale aircraft for Rs 1,670 crore per aircraft.