Mumbai Cong protests against Centre over Rafale aircraft deal

The Mumbai unit of the Congress today organised a protest march against what it claimed was "corruption" in the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets by the BJP-led Union government.

Carrying a replica of the aircraft, hundreds of Congress workers marched from Fashion Street to Azad Maidan in south Mumbai shouting slogans against the deal.

Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam said that the government was cagey about disclosing the exact price of each of these aircraft and accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman of "lying blatantly".

"Prime Minister and the Defence Minister are lying blatantly under the name of a 'secrecy clause' which does not exist," Nirupam alleged.

He claimed that the price negotiated by the Modi government was three times the one agreed upon by the Congress-led UPA government earlier.

He also demanded why industrialist Anil Ambani's firm was included in the deal.

"Dassault Aviation, the company which supplies Rafale fighter aircrafts, has stated in their annual report that the plane which was supposed to be sold by the French government during the rule of the Congress in 2012 cost Rs 526 crore," he said.

"These planes have now been sold at Rs 1,670 crore. This indicates a scam of Rs. 41,205 crore," he alleged.

Congress MLAs Aslam Sheikh, Amin Patel, ex-MP Eknath Gaikwad, leader of opposition in BMC Ravi Raja, ex-MLC Charanjeet Sapra were among the prominent leaders who attended this protest march.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)