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Congress to launch agitation over Rafale ‘scam’ in Odisha


Bhubaneswar/New Delhi: In the run-up to the 2019 elections, Odisha Pradesh Congress has decided to step up its attack on BJP-led NDA government at the Centre over the issue of alleged corruption in the Rafale deal. The State unit of the Grand Old party will launch a massive campaign to expose the Modi government.

Terming the deal a “scam” and Odisha has been badly affected for it (corruption in purchasing Rafale fighter jets), Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) President Niranjan Patnaik said his party will take the issue to every part of the State.

“We will inform all of our party workers about the deal (Rafale) and will launch a massive campaign soon. Congress workers will fan out and hold district and state-level demonstrations,” said Patnaik from New Delhi where he attended a meeting which was presided over by Congress President Rahul Gandhi.

Patnaik further said that the Rafale deal had affected Odisha more than any other states in the country as a contract in the Rafale deal had been “snatched away” from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, a public sector undertaking, which is in Odisha could have created employment opportunities for many youths.

Reacting sharply, the State unit of BJP dared the Congress to prove the allegation with proof. “Our party has already informed to the Parliament about the Rafale deal. The Congress should come up with proof rather than trying to confuse people,” State BJP General Secretary Prithviraj Harichandan said.

This apart, sources said OPCC will hold two-day meeting in Bhubaneswar where the party will finalize the list of candidates for the forthcoming elections.

The meeting was attended by of Congress general secretaries, party in-charges of states, legislative party leaders and state unit chiefs.

The meeting discussed the party’s preparations for the assembly polls later this year in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram.

Briefing reporters later, Congress Communications In-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala said the meeting discussed “political challenges in the election-bound states”.

He said that meeting also discussed the Rafale deal signed by the Modi government to purchase fighter jets from France and alleged that there had been a loss of Rs 41,000 crore to the exchequer.