Odisha Cong To Make Rafale Deal An Issue: Niranjan

New Delhi: The Odisha Congress on Saturday said that it will rake up the shady deal between the Centre and the French government on the purchase of Rafale fighter jets.

“Odisha has been affected by this deal. The Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has set up the fighter jet engine assembly unit at Sunabeda in Koraput district. Had the NDA government made an agreement with that of France for transfer of technology of the fighter jets, the assembling of the engines would have been done at Sunabeda, which in turn would have provided employment of more local youths. But the Narendra Modi government has decided to purchase of these jets following a secret understanding with the Ambanis,” Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik told mediapersons after a meeting convened by the Congress president Rahul Gandhi at the Congress War Room here.

He said the Congress will take up this issue at the district and panchayat level in Odisha.

Among others, Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly Narasingha Mishra and Odisha-in-charge Jitender Singh were present at the meeting.

Talking to mediapersons, Singh said the meeting of the PCC presidents, Leaders of the Opposition and the all Congress Legislature Party (CLP) with the Congress president will continue for three days.

“There will be a meeting of the District Congress Committee (DCC) presidents and the newly-formed Pradesh Election Committee (PEC). We are trying our best to start the process for distribution of party tickets to the candidate from the day after tomorrow,” he added.

On the Rafale deal, Singh said that the Centre has betrayed the youths of Odisha. “There is an engine assembly plant in Koraput district where more local youths would have been employed had the Centre insisted on technology transfer. On this issue, we are planning for an agitation in Odisha,” he added.

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