Demanding an immediate investigation into the Rafale deal by a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), South Goa district Congress committee along with Goa desk in-charge A Chella Kumar and senior party leaders staged a protest march in Margao and later submitted a memorandum to the South Goa Collector Tariq Thomas.
Manned by a strong police force that saw temporarily blocking of traffic, Congress leaders and workers marched from the SGPDA ground to the Collectorate building demanding a probe into the Rafale deal. Kumar called it a scam amounting to Rs 1.72 lakh crore.
“When we were in government, we were clear that Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), a public-sector company, would build 108 aircrafts in the country, but Modi has struck down the deal that was signed in 2013 with the company and has allocated it to a company with zero experience in aircraft manufacturing. An Rs one lakh crore contract was also given to the firm for lifelong maintenance of the aircrafts. So, it is in all a Rs 1,72,000-crore worth corruption which has never happened in the history of India. This is the biggest scam done by the PM of the country itself,” said Chella Kumar.
“Why is he not ready for JPC probe if his hands are clean and his administration is clear? Rahulji had made this corruption charge and raised eight questions in Parliament. But instead of answering the questions, he has only diverted attention. If you have nothing to hide then have the JPC constituted. When we were in government, we did not hide but formed such committees,” he said.
“Rafale deal needs to be explained to everyone. Two issues, one being the rate and the other is when the Congress was in government, 108 aircrafts were supposed to be build in the country. But we need to know why this didn’t happen. Next week, the Supreme Court will hear the matter and we are hopeful it will lead to something fruitful,” said Margao MLA Digambar Kamat.
Hundreds of party workers along with Chella Kumar and party leaders including Margao MLA Digambar Kamat, Quepem MLA Chandrakant ‘Babu’ Kavlekar, Cuncolim MLA Clafasio Dias, Velim MLA Filipe Neri, Nuvem MLA Wilfred D’Sa, Ponda MLA Ravi Naik, GPCC president Girish Chodankar, South Goa district president Joe Dias and senior leader Francis Sardinha in the memorandum addressed to the President of India through the South Goa Collector have sought his immediately intervention.