When will Rahul end his obsessive ruckus over the Rafale jets? – Part 1

Has the time then, come for our Country’s much-pampered Rahul Baba to declare a cease-fire on the Rafale issue?

Has the time then, come for our Country’s much-pampered Rahul Baba to declare a cease-fire on the Rafale issue?
Has the time then, come for our Country’s much-pampered Rahul Baba to declare a cease-fire on the Rafale issue?

Rahul’s Rafale ruckus began a few months ago when he questioned the individual price at which the Modi Government bought the very badly needed 36 fighter jets from the French company Dassault Aviation.

On the late afternoon of September 24 in New Delhi, the Modi government’s junior Agricultural Minister, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, dropped a bomb on his party’s ongoing war over the Rafale deal between the BJP and Pappu Rahul of the Congress.

That Monsieur had committed the faux pas of saying that the choice of Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence as an offset partner of Dassault Aviation in the Rafale deal was something over which the French had no choice

Speaking in chaste Hindustani (not Vajpayee’s Hindi), interspersed with good English, Shekhawat brazenly mentioned the involvement of Sanjay Bhandari in the Rafale, the notorious Defence middleman who was a close friend of Rahul Gandhi family’s son-in-law Robert Vadra for whom he had gifted a luxurious mansion in London, furnished it luxurious curtains et al and also provided him two air tickets to Switzerland at the cost of Rs 8 lakhs.

Since then the Congress has remained conspicuously silent on that accusation— relatively, of course, excepting calling the BJP’s attack as being “vindictive”, the word it has fallen in love with for some time now.

Has the time then, come for our Country’s much-pampered Rahul Baba to declare a cease-fire on the Rafale issue?

One has some doubt because Rahul “Baba” has been dubbed by the present Chief Minister of Telangana State as “a buffoon, the biggest buffoon of the country.” And lately, he has been labeled a “confirmed liar” by our Law Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, and as a “Clown Price” by our Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley. After all, a congenital is akin to a defiant cocaine addict, isn’t it?

Whatever the pen-name(s) you choose for our much-pampered Pappu, he had, very very recently, become eligible to be now crowned as fit to sit in the good company of Francois Hollande, the former His Excellency, President of the French Republic.

That Monsieur had committed the faux pas of saying that the choice of Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence as an offset partner of Dassault Aviation in the Rafale deal was something over which the French had no choice; within 24 hours he claimed that he was unaware of the issue and that Dassault should be asked about the matter, even as Dassault’s Chairman and CEO, Eric Dappler, publicly stated that Reliance was selected by them alone! No wonder Monsieur Hollande has, according to Wikipedia, been regarded as home as the most unpopular President of France. But our Rahul Baba showed no remorse Tweeting ex-President’s initial blunder.

The UPA government intended Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) to be the major Offset partner, apart from being assigned to manufacture 108 out of the 126 Rafale jets we require.

Rahul’s Rafale ruckus began a few months ago when he questioned the individual price at which the Modi Government bought the very badly needed 36 fighter jets from the French company Dassault Aviation.

The fact is that the first Rafale jet under the Modi government’s deal has already been successfully tested by the Indian Air Force in that country itself, and by one of IAF’s top flier. The first aircraft of the 36 ordered will come in some months only; the delivery timeline of these 36 jets has been confirmed. Hence, none of the ruckuses which Rahul Baba is creating will lead to the cancellation of the Modi government’s Rafale deal. The worst which happen to it will be some criticism on some of its aspects by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. (CAG).

Meanwhile, if Rahul Baba looks back over his antics and looks ahead constructively about his own political career, it would do a lot of good to him, to the Congress party and to India.

He may well be suffering from what clinical psychologists call as an LD (Learning Disability), but is lost in trying to give the following facts about the Rafale deal. It’s essential that he reads those facts slowly, without letting his mind being invaded by the specter of Narendra Modi.

As to how disastrous Vadra’s dear friend, Sanjay Bhandari, could have been for India’s badly needed jet fighters, here’s a quote from the first editorial in Mumbai’s “Free Press Journal” of September 26, 2018. It said, “He single-mindedly pushed the Rafale offset contract but Dassault Aviation would have none of it.” Here then is a 36-Rafale salute to Dassault. (Note: The 50% offset clause in the Rafale deal states that the contracted French companies –Dassault and partners– would have to invest 50% of the deal (Rs 60.000-odd crores)into a joint venture with Indian private or government defense firms. Also note that the UPA government intended Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) to be the major Offset partner, apart from being assigned to manufacture 108 out of the 126 Rafale jets we require.)

. . . to be continued

Arvind Lavakare has been a freelance writer since 1957. He has written and spoken on sports on radio and TV. He currently writes on political issues regularly. His writings include a book on Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.

His freelancing career began in "The Times of India" with a sports article published when he was a month shy of 20 years of age. He was also a regular political affairs columnist first for rediff.com for five years or so and then shifted to sify.com. He also wrote extensively for niticentral.com "till it stopped publication."

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