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News18 Explains: Controversy Over Alleged PMO Role in Rafale Negotiations

Feb 08, 2019 09:39 PM IST India India

The Prime Minister’s Office ran parallel negotiations with France even as the Defence Ministry was working out the Rafale fighter jets deal, ultimately weakening India’s position on the negotiating table, a report in The Hindu said on Friday citing an official note. The note dated November 24, 2015 was sent to then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and recorded defence secretary G. Mohan Kumar’s opposition to the alleged interference of the PMO while negotiations were ongoing. Soon after the news report came out, it become the most debated topic of the day. Congress president Rahul Gandhi lost no time to launch a scathing attack on PM Modi. The Congress president, who has repeatedly accused the PM of crony capitalism in the agreement, said that the report proves that “Chowkidaar is a thief." The centre on its part refuted the allegations and accused the newspaper of ‘‘biased reporting.’’ But what’s the latest controversy all about and what implications, if any, will it have on the upcoming Lok Sabha elections? News18’s Anusha Soni explains the big story.