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  Metros   Mumbai  05 Oct 2018  ‘Pawar negated Rahul on Rafale’

‘Pawar negated Rahul on Rafale’

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Oct 5, 2018, 3:11 am IST
Updated : Oct 5, 2018, 3:11 am IST

The BJP had denied the allegations that it had chosen a particular industrialist as the offset partner of Dassault, the French maker of Rafale.

Prakash Ambedkar
 Prakash Ambedkar

Mumbai: Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar on Thursday appealed to Congress president Rahul Gandhi to reconsider his party’s alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) for future polls, against the backdrop of party chief Sharad Pawar’s “defence” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the controversial Rafale jet deal.

Mr Ambedkar, who heads the Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM), said Mr Pawar, with his statement, has “opposed” Mr Gandhi, who had launched a pointed attack on the Prime Minister over the purchase of the fighter jets from France. Mr Pawar had caused a flutter with his statement that the people had no doubts about the intentions of Mr Modi with regards to the deal. However, after his statement drew flak, Mr Pawar made a U-turn, saying he never meant to support anybody in the deal, which he termed as “looting of the country”. “The allegations made by Congress president Rahul Gandhi were opposed by NCP president Sharad Pawar.  Mr Pawar has negated Rahul Gandhi’s stand on the issue. Now, it is up to the Congress whether it wants to continue with the NCP or not,” Mr Ambedkar told reporters.

 

The Congress has been accusing the Modi government of favouritism and purchasing the fighter aircraft at a price higher than what was negotiated by the erstwhile UPA government. The BJP had denied the allegations that it had chosen a particular industrialist as the offset partner of Dassault, the French maker of Rafale. Mr Pawar had said the Congress and the NCP would come together for the polls in Maharashtra. The BBM and the Asaduddin Owaisi-led All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) recently tied up for the Lok Sabha and Maharashtra assembly polls, due next year. Ambedkar said his party would not join hands with the NCP.

Responding to a query on the BBM’s prospective alliance with the Congress, Mr Ambedkar said he had held two meetings with leaders of that party and discussed seat sharing. “We have discussed (the scenario) in 12 of total 48 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra. We are not adamant on (contesting) the 12 seats,” he said. Mr Ambedkar said there are 14 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra where the Congress had lost in the last three elections. “But we are not interested in those seats,” he added.

 

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