Monday, July 13, 2020
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Is Rahul Gandhi now trying to use Rafale as bargaining chip for AgustaWestland?

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Saurabh Garg
Analyst, Writer and Scientific Explorer

After the unequivocal verdict of the highest court of any country, a responsible opposition and its leaders will ideally drop the issue and look for more issues to hold the government accountable. However, this is not what happened in the case of Rafale deal in India. India’s grand old party Congress and its president continue to go gaga over their allegations in Rafale case. This now doesn’t look so simple and there appears to be a nefarious design behind this sustained campaign for creating the scam out of Rafale deal.

Due to fast paced probe in AgustaWestland case and statements of the extradited middleman Christian Michel, the so called ‘First Family’ looks to be in trouble. According to a Times of India report, Enforcement Directorate informed the Delhi’s Patiala House Court that the accused Christian Michel has taken the name of “Mrs Gandhi” and also spoke about “the son of the Italian lady” who is going to be “the next prime minister of India”. This is big. If the probe continues, it is going to raise the temperature for the Congress Party especially when the elections are around the corner and when it is fighting to save its fortune.

One may ask why is it that Rafale can be used as a bargaining chip when there is no scam in it. Yes, Rafale is now free of taints as also highlighted by the apex court of the country. But it still has the potential left in itself to be misused by a politician who is on a lying spree to confuse voters. If you keep telling a lie thousand times, it may not become the truth but can still cause immense damage by causing the confusion in the mind of voters.

It is to check this damage of PM Modi’s reputation even by a lie this that Congress President may be thinking to signal Prime Minister Modi to stop or slow down the pace of probe in AgustaWestland which if continues, may further cause damage to Congress Party which is already struggling. If the AgustaWestland probe slows down, Rahul Gandhi’s campaign on Rafale may also stop.

The above point is not without precedent. In the case of National Herald, Congress had possibly adopted the similar strategy by bringing the impeachment motion against the CJP on the pretext of Justice Loya death case, the motion in reality was to signal the judges presiding over the National Herald case. This was also an allegation levelled by PM Modi on Congress.

So, Rafale is now a dead deal which is being kept alive to dig the grave for AgustaWestland. However, looking at the current political atmosphere in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appears to go hell bent on AgustaWestland come may what.

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Saurabh Garg
Analyst, Writer and Scientific Explorer

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