Congress president Rahul Gandhi Tuesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi acted as businessman Anil Ambani’s middleman and there was no doubt that the PM was a corrupt man. Gandhi’s statement came after a report by The Indian Express stated that Ambani met French defence officials before the PM announced the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft from France.
Saying that Ambani knew 10 days before that the Rafale deal will be signed, Gandhi further alleged: “PM Modi violated Official Secrets Act: He (PM Modi) is informing someone of a defence matter (Rafale deal). He is under oath. He compromised national security. He does what a spy does. He gave defence information to someone else,” he alleged.
He said: “Anil Ambani knows about the biggest defence deal in the world but the defence minister and foreign secretary don’t. Only the Prime Minister can answer.”
The Indian Express report states that Ambani met then French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s office in Paris and had a meeting with his top advisors, in the fourth week of March 2015, about a fortnight before PM Modi announced the Rafale deal. The meeting was attended by Le Drian’s special advisor Jean-Claude Mallet; his industry advisor, Christophe Salomon; and his technical advisor for industrial affairs, Geoffrey Bouquot. Ambani’s meeting was described by Salomon to a top official of a European defence company as “confidential and planned as you can imagine with very short notice”.