Indian Overseas Congress, USA staged a protest in Richmond Hill, New York to highlight the corruption by the Modi Government in the purchase of Rafale jets in the biggest defence scam in history. This protest also expressed grave discontent amongst NRIs who are of the opinion that Hindustan Aeronautical Limited should have been the building partner of the Dassault Aviation rather than Modi’s handpicked friend Anil Ambani who stands to gain 30,000 Crores Rupees in this scam at the expense of the tax-paying public.
Dr. Amee Yajnik, member of the Rajya Sabha while addressing the crowd, expressed grave discontentment with lack of transparency and accountability in this whole affair. “While our farmers are suffering and many of them are on the verge of despair, the Modi Government’s focus is only to increase the coffers of their crony capitalist friends. The money that is supposed to be used for economic and social development is stolen from the people of India” Dr. Yajnik added.
‘Corrupt role played by the Minister of Defense, Nirmala Sitaraman is also of great concern to us, and we are also concerned that she has converted the ministry of defense into a puppet institution which dancing to the tunes of crony capitalists without any concern being shown to the defense establishment of the country along with national security” said Mr. Mohinder Singh Gilzian, President of the Indian Overseas Congress, USA. “The secrecy by which Modi has dealt with this deal tantamount to organized loot, and we are asking for the resignation of the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister’, Mr. Gilzian added.
George Abraham, Vice-Chairman of IOC, urged the Diaspora to become cognizant of the growing number of scandals plaguing the Modi regime and the secrecy with which Rafale Deal has been conceptualized. United Progressive Alliance first conceptualized the deal in the year 2012 when Government of India had agreed with Dassault Aviation, France to purchase a total of 126 Rafale fighter jet aircraft. This agreement was clinched with a cost of Rs. 526 for each aircraft.
Initial 18 aircraft were to be purchased on an immediate fly-away condition, and remaining 108 were agreed to be manufactured in India. Aircraft which were to be manufactured in India were agreed to be manufactured in association with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited under the transfer of technology agreement. However, altering the terms of the contract to benefit the Ambanis may result in the lost employment opportunities which could have benefited the unemployed youth of Karnataka.
Crowd held placards and chanted that “Modi is corrupt – Stop Deception and Corruption”, “End all Corruption – Down with BJP and Crony Capitalism”, “IOC condemns Corruption”, “Rafale, biggest Defense scam”, “Vigilance should investigate Modi” .
Mr. Ravi Chopra, the chairman of the Finance Committee, John Joseph, Vice-President, Mr. Satish Sharma, Chairman of Punjab Chapter, Mr. Charan Singh, President of Haryana Chapter, Mrs. Shalu Chopra, chairperson of the Women’s forum also spoke. Mr. Devendra Vora of the Maharashtra Chapter honored the Chief Guest Dr. Yajnik with a Shawl.